Elee Bisera is going into the Asia-Pacific amateur golf team championships using a 12-year-old golf set given by older brother Dante, now a teaching professional.
The Davao-born golfer, who is making his first international appearance at the event also known as Nomura Cup, has been using the Titleist AP irons and a 2011 Taylormade R11 driver since 2018.
It is the same weapons he used when he earned one of three berths to the national team during the five-round qualifying last month at Manila Southwoods.
Dante, who is now connected with Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, said the golf clubs have served him well during his amateur heydays.
“I believe that the clubs fit well with Elee,” he said.
Since qualifying for the Nomura Cup, Elee has been commuting to and from Dante’s residence in Cabuyao, Laguna to practice at the Masters course daily.
“He takes two tricycle and two jeepney rides to get there. I had to wake him up at 4:30 a.m. daily,” Dante said.
Alexander, another brother, accompanied and joined Elee during practice. He would serve as his caddie when the tournament starts on Tuesday.
Dante said they are grateful to Manila Southwoods for its support of Elee while training for the Nomura Cup, naming golf director Jerome Delariarte and member Bobby Inigo.
“They provided for Elee and Alexander’s food allowances. I told them to take their meals at the drivers’ canteen,” he said.
In his last tournament, Elee shared eighth place in the ICTSI Pradera Verde Championship, scoring 70-72-74-71.
Turning 24 in less than two weeks, Elee is good enough to turn pro but Dante advised him to stay amateur if the National Golf Association of the Philippines needs him.
The NGAP bankrolled Bisera’s stint at Pradera Verde.
Elee is the sixth of eight siblings. He finished Grade 12 at the age of 20 because he stopped studying for three years.
“At 15, Elee was taken by Mr. Raymond Bunquin when he was still general manager of Eagle Ridge and trained for three years there,” Dante said. “At that time, Apo Golf did not allow caddies to use its facilities.”
Dante said Elee has supporters in Davao who take care of his airfares whenever he needs to go to Manila.
Like most talents that emerged from Davao, Elee began with a single iron, hitting thousands of balls at the range.
“I told him that instead of cooling his heels at home, he’s better off hitting balls. Who knows what will happen next,” Dante said.
Elee has not gone home since Sunday. He’s now quartered in a hotel in Alabang along with Kristoffer Arevalo and Jacob Rolida.
Since qualifying, Dante said Elee has received offers to change his golf set but decided against it due to the proximity of the event.
“But I think Elee will use a new set of wedges given by coach Toch Altea,” he disclosed.
Dante said he won’t be able to watch Elee because the event coincides with the ICTSI Match Play Championship at the Villamor golf course.
“I just remind him to focus on his own game and not the opponents,” he said.