Angkor Golf Resort’s director of golf David Baron (third from left, back row) and head professional Alan Martin with the local youngsters who took part in a grassroots clinic recently. Photo supplied
2 Nov, 2015 H S Manjunath
The Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort, the winner this year of the Asian Golf Monthly’s best course in Cambodia award, will launch an exciting grassroots program in Siem Reap next week to introduce as many local children to the game as possible to create a viable pathway for the emerging talent to succeed in the long run.
Well-backed by AGR, the program is completely free of charge and will be conducted by PGA head professional Alan Martin. Over 250 boys and girls are expected to line up for their first feel of golf throughout November.
The initiation process will involve a structure series of basic skills test for every participant and a group of 12 most promising youngsters from the lot will be picked for the more advanced next stage where professional tuition will be imparted for another six months.
From this core group of 12 a final team of four players will be selected based on merit and will be offered a further six months scholarship that includes professional guidance and use of the AGR facilities.
“These four selected golfers will effectively become Cambodia’s National Team and reach an elite level during their teenage years enabling them to represent the country on the international stage.
It’s important that these players are not only technically gifted but are fully educated on the rules, etiquette, history and heritage of the game,” AGR’s director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.
“We are in the process of selecting some local partners for the program to help subsidise the costs of supporting the team into the final stages and ensuring this can be a long term repeatable initiative”, said David Baron, who is himself a member of the British PGA.
“With this program we have two main aims: to raise awareness of golf in the Kingdom and to develop young talent to one day represent the country at the international level,” Alan Martin told the Post.
“As PGA professional David Baron and I have a responsibility to grow the game of golf.
Here in Cambodia the potential is huge, the appeal is even greater as the golfing journey for many has not started yet’’, said Alan Martin, who has spent five years in the home of golf, St. Andrews, serving in various capacities.
According to Alan Martin, the AGR will keep all doors open to ensure as many children as possible remain playing on a regular basis.
The AGR has also announced that the program will be repeated every year to ensure sustained development and the award winning course is also contemplating the possibility of extending this program to Phnom Penh in the near future.