Golf: Higher-level training for aspiring young golfers

Nanyang Girls' High School's Angel Lim, 12, and ACS(I)'s Sean Lee, 14, have been promoted to the national development squad.
Nanyang Girls' High School's Angel Lim, 12, and ACS(I)'s Sean Lee, 14, have been promoted to the national development squad.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

For aspiring young golfer Sean Lee, the more training he gets, the faster he thinks he can improve.

The 14-year-old is among 10 boys and six girls in the national development squads, which were formed by the Singapore Golf Association (SGA) last July to provide more development opportunities for promising young talent aged between nine and 14.

The training programmes for the three tiers of the national set-up (elite, development and junior) were unveiled by the SGA yesterday in a press conference at Sentosa Golf Club.

Sean and his peers will be mentored by teaching pros Goh Kun Yang and Justin Han, who will oversee the development and junior squads on a part-time basis.

In addition to training sessions at least twice a week from Monday to Thursday, the young golfers will also be able to work on their strength and conditioning in the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) gym facilities on Friday evenings.

Sean, who is one of two young golfers who have just been promoted to the development squad (the feeder team to the national team) alongside Angel Lim, is relishing the prospect of training more often with higher-calibre players.

QUALITY COACHING

We are focusing more on scenario-based training, players' short games and their decision-making. So it's about how we can help develop golfers and take them to the next level.

JEROME NG, high performance manager and acting general manager, on what the SGA is doing to improve the performance of young golfers.

"In the juniors I would train about twice a month, so to go from that to training four times a week is going to be very helpful for me to improve," said the Secondary 2 student at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).

"It's going to be my first time training with a coach too so I'm interested to see how it'd work out."

SGA's high performance manager and acting general manager Jerome Ng stressed that the national set-up and coaching system were not intended to replace the personal coaches of players.

"We are focusing more on scenario-based training, players' short games and their decision-making. So it's about how we can help develop golfers and take them to the next level," he said.

The SGA confirmed the appointments of Goh and Han yesterday, as well as that of veteran pro and Singapore-based Australian Scott Barr as the elite squad coach.

The trio will combine to fill the void left by former national head coach Andrew Welsford, who stepped down from his role last October.

The association also announced the formation of an overseas squad that will provide support for and track the performances of top amateurs based outside Singapore.

Lester Wong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2018, with the headline 'Higher-level training for aspiring youngsters'. Print Edition | Subscribe