Golf: Local rookie professionals to receive support from SGA under new scheme

(From left) Mr Jerome Ng, Acting General Manager, Mr Ross Tan, SGA President, and Mrs Lyn Sen, executive board member and SGA Junior Development Sub-committee Chair at the press conference at Sentosa Golf Club on Jan 10, 2018.
(From left) Mr Jerome Ng, Acting General Manager, Mr Ross Tan, SGA President, and Mrs Lyn Sen, executive board member and SGA Junior Development Sub-committee Chair at the press conference at Sentosa Golf Club on Jan 10, 2018.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Golf Association (SGA) has rolled out a new initiative to support amateur golfers who turn professional.

Known as the Rookie Professional Programme, this bridging scheme aims to provide a smooth transition from amateur to professional, said SGA's acting general manager and high performance manager Jerome Ng at a press conference on Wednesday (Jan 10).

The "rookie" professionals will receive player management support for at least two years. This includes sports psychology sessions, access to golf training facilities and mentorship programmes.

The golfers will also be allowed to train with the Elite squad amateurs who make up the national team .

Singapore's top amateur golfers Joshua Shou, Jesse Yap and Marc Ong who intend to turn professional this year will be the first beneficiaries of this programme.

Previously, local golfers were largely left to their own devices once they turned professional, with the lack of easy access to golf courses they would have enjoyed under SGA auspices one of the biggest challenges faced.

"Everyone who turns pro is pretty much on their own and the programme will definitely be a help in terms of the training facilities that SGA can provide," said SEA Games team gold medallist Ong, who intends to turn pro after next week's SMBC Singapore Open (Jan 18-21).

"The support from SSI (Singapore Sport Institute) - the fitness programmes, strength and cardio coaches - will also come in pretty handy because we wouldn't get the funding for such things normally as pros."