In a world of private jets, five-star hotels and huge appearance fees, Thongchai Jaidee is very much golf's working-class hero.
Born in Lop Buri, a city north of Bangkok, Jaidee grew up in a rudimentary wooden house with no flush toilet or shower.
His saving grace was the golf course behind his home, and it was here where he would often sneak onto the fairways and play golf with a club that he made out of the discarded head of a five iron tied onto a bamboo stick.
Jaidee joined the Royal Thai Army in 1989 and became a paratrooper. But 10 years later he turned professional at the late age of 29 and embarked on a career in golf.
And within a few years Jaidee was already making great strides in the game. In 2004 he became the first Thai golfer to win a European Tour event in the Malaysian Open, a title he defended in 2005. The Thai government rewarded him with a diplomatic passport to facilitate his travel around the world.
When Jaidee played in the 2006 Masters, he became the first Thai golfer to compete in all four Majors. And he is also the first player to break $2-million in career earnings on the Asian Tour.
With 13 victories on the Asian Tour, several of which were co-sanctioned with the European Tour, Jaidee proved he could win on European soil as well when he won the 2012 Wales Open.
But the irrepressible Jaidee keeps setting new goals, fuelled by an unbelievable work ethic that sees him in the gym for two-and-a-half hours a day, and which is the legacy of his days in the military.
"In those days I would be training in the seaside, the jungle, the mountains ... wherever. I was carrying 30-40kg on my back and running - not walking - but running all day. It was really hard. But the most important thing is that it made me mentally tough. In the Army, there is no schedule. You don't know what you're going to have to do that day, and that helped me control my emotions. It really helped me mentally. As a pro, we all get angry if we duff a chip or whatever, but I'm able to control any mistakes I make as a result. Being in the Army has helped me with controlling my feelings."
He certainly needed to control them to get through a tough 2008 when he suffered a back injury.
"We travel anywhere in Asia, Europe, America and the flights are very far and long. I went to see a doctor he said a bone inside my back had come out. For three months I couldn't do anything. It was a tough time." But he returned to win two European Tour co-sanctioned tournaments in Asia in 2009.
Jaidee also runs a foundation in his hometown which assists young children there with education, and he has a golf academy for talented young Thai golfers.
And as a man who naturally loves his Thai green curry, Jaidee also has a few restaurants he owns.
And he always has time for his beloved Asian Tour.
"I spend a lot of time outside my country - probably seven months a year. So when I come back home I like to see my friends and family. I love the Asian Tour. I never forget the Asian Tour and will always play there if I can. It's good to see the Tour growing so much, and we have many young players coming through."
His heroes in the game are fellow Thai professional Boonchu Ruangkit and South Africa's Ernie Els.
And with Ruangkit having won in South Africa before, perhaps it's time for Jaidee to add another first and become Thailand's first winner of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.