Hava Yavuz, a hearing-impaired mother of one, was called up by the Turkish national golf team for Deaflympics two months after she got to know about golf, thanks to an SMS.
Two months ago, she received a message on her cellphone that said, "We are looking for hearing-impaired athletes who want to play golf in the 23rd Summer Deaflympics."
Eventually, she applied to Samsun Golf Club and began learning the trick of the trade. After being pretty successful in training sessions, Yavuz was included in the national golf team by its head coach Hamza Sayın.
Nowadays, she is working hard to win a gold medal in the 23rd Summer Deaflympics, which will be held between July 18 and July 30 in Turkey's Black Sea province of Samsun.
Speaking to Anatolian Agency (AA) Yavuz said, "I began playing golf in a stroke of luck but have loved it very much. I used to play volleyball, but golf is more enjoyable. I dreamed of becoming a national player since the first day I started golf. I am sure that I will be successful. It will be very important for me to fly the Turkish flag in the summer Deaflympics. I have been working hard for this. I also want to compete in the European Golf Championship. I will continue to work after Summer Deaflympics."
Meanwhile, head coach Hamza Sayın said golf will be played for the first time in Deaflympics history.
"That's why we set up a national team at very short notice. We trained the players for a six-month period and called them up for the national team. Hava joined us two months ago. We are very proud of her because she learned a very complicated sport like golf in a very short time. She is improving every passing day."
The National Deaf Golf Team is preparing at the Samsun Metropolitan Municipality Golf Club ahead of the 23rd Summer Deaflympics. The team, trained by head coach Sayın consists of six athletes, three men and three women.
The Turkish head coach said, "After a period of five months, we selected 27 athletes from trials in Samsun and Antalya and got to work. During the process, the squad number was first reduced to 12 before being sized down to six. This golf team will represent our country for the first time in an event that will be a first in the history of Deaflympics. These firsts provide excitements and the opportunity to become a model."
Sayın said though the team were put together in a very short window they have reached the level from where they could compete in the Olympics.
He added that they were happy and satisfied with the progress the players have made in the last few months.
"There are friends in team sports that will cover you and cover your mistakes, but this is not the case in golf. It is an individual sport. You compete against yourself, the circumstances, and your opponents, all by yourself. But, we believe our players can handle this situation."
İlknur Çavdar, Erdem Kulanoğlu and Muhammet Demir, the few names to represent Turkey in the international arena, said they have only recently been introduced to golf, but they are getting better by the day. They were all determined that their future in golf will not be limited to Deaflympics as they want to represent Turkey in European and World Championships in the future.