Meet the Czech golfer who has embraced Dubai amid a pandemic
Napoleaova has also been impressed with the local ladies' golf scene
Both amateur and professional athletes have flocked to Dubai and the UAE over the last 12 months to make use of the wonderful facilities here in a safe environment as the rest of the world is still reeling under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
One such athlete is Kristyna Napoleaova, the 24 year-old golfer from the Czech Republic.
Napoleaova, a natural athlete who represented the Czech Republic at football until the under 19 level and also won the Czech Championship six times in a row with Sparta Prague, took up golf only in June, 2016, after an injury halted her football career.
Remarkably, Napoleaova turned professional just four years later in 2020.
And it was in October 2020 that Napoleaova arrived here to see her Dubai-based friends.
Napoleaova was quickly drawn to the Dubai golf scene as she teamed up with PGA Professional Jamie McConnell, the Director of the CH3 Golf Academy at The Els Club.
“I have been to Dubai many times in the last couple of years, coming here with my parents who have business relationships in the emirate as well as staying for longer periods to work on my game and also just for a holiday,” Napoleaova said.
“I have enjoyed Dubai so much over the last few months; the weather, the exceptional golf facilities, the infrastructure, the hospitality and you can travel around the city so quickly and easily.”
Napoleaova has also been impressed with the local ladies’ golf scene.
“I have recently met up with Pia Fleury of the Desert Rose Ladies Golf Society and am keen to see how I can support this initiative on an informal basis, to ensure the ladies have a fun and varied time around golf,” said Kristyna.
Napoleaova will now travel to South Africa on Wednesday for the Sunshine Ladies Tour events starting next week.
There are five scheduled Sunshine Ladies Tour events followed by the South African Ladies Open in mid-May which Napoleaova hopes to qualify for.
While planning a 2021 schedule has been a huge challenge for all athletes due to Covid, Napoleaova is hoping for playing opportunities on the LET Access Tour, the Ladies European Tour (LET), especially through invites, including a couple of events in the Czech Republic this season.
“I am going to write to the organisers of the LET events in Dubai and Saudi and those hosted and sponsored by Saudi globally as I am now a golfer with Dubai, UAE and Middle East connections and loyalties, with a growing profile,’ she said.
“I have embraced Dubai over the last few months, made new friends on and off the golf course and have been warmly welcomed and I believe I have made the most of my last year and I look forward to furthering my golfing career post Covid.
“It has been great meeting up with so many fellow golf professionals in Dubai who are always happy to pair up for a round of golf. I have also been recently joined in Dubai by fellow Czech lady professional golfer, Sideri Vanova, who is also enjoying the experience.”
GOLF AROUND THE WORLD THIS WEEK
PGA TOUR www.pgatour.com
1-4 April, 2021
Valero Texas Open
Venue: TPC San Antonia, Texas, US
Purse: $7.7 million
LPGA TOUR www.lpgatour.com
1-4 April, 2021
Venue: Mission Hills CC, California, US
Purse: $3.1 million
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