Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The golf industry is mourning the passing of Nellan Vellasamy, who lit up the Southeast Asian golfing scene for more than five decades as a player and coach.
A larger-than-life character, Nellan’s outgoing personality endeared him to all with whom he came into contact, from golfing legends to celebrities and political leaders.
As a golf coach, V. Nellan, as he was known, touched the lives of many thousands of students in Malaysia and around the region with his powerful winning combination of wit, unbridled enthusiasm and an ability to make the game fun to learn.
The eldest of 10 siblings, Nellan grew up around the Royal Selangor Golf Club in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, where he began his golfing odyssey as a caddie and his love for the game was nurtured.
Winner of the Malaysian PGA Championship in 1987 and a two-time representative for his country at the World Cup of Golf, Nellan also held the distinction of having attended every edition of the Malaysian Open, acting in a variety of capacities.
A scorekeeper at the inaugural Open in 1962, he made his debut as a player in the tournament in 1969. His final appearance as a player was in 1989 since when he attended as a spectator.
With his playing career winding down, Nellan embraced the role of teaching pro. As well as working with Kelab Golf Negara Subang, Tasik Utara Golf Club (now known as Johor Golf Club) and Seremban International Golf Club, he acted as an ambassador for Saujana Golf & Country Club.
Nellan, who passed away aged 71, is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.