Cambodian Golf Federation adviser Roger Hunt (left) corrects a young golfer’s grip during a junior golf clinic at the Golf Village Driving Range in September. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
Buoyed by the success of the first batch of junior golf clinics held at the Golf Village Driving Range from early July to the first week of December, the Cambodian Golf Federation is all set to resume this popular initiative in mid-January.
The free clinics were conducted by former Australian amateur team captain Roger Hunt, who has been serving the CGF as an adviser for the past five years.
As many as 43 students, some of whom had never seen a golf course or swung a club before, emerged from the program with their golfing skills well honed and are now ready for the next level. There were some drop-outs at various stages but most students stayed through the course.
“I am very pleased with the first fully organised junior clinics ever held in Cambodia, and I trust the CGF will maintain them permanently,” said Hunt in an exclusive chat with the Post yesterday.
“The next task is to negotiate with the golf courses and structure a program whereby students who have attained a certain level of golf skills and are proficient in rules and etiquette can gain access to the golf links.
“Surprisingly, the best students were girls aged around 7 to 10, with most very keen on all sports. Quite a few teenagers commenced the clinics, but some did not attend all the lessons. I guess at that age there are other distractions,” he added.
“We must thank Erika Ek and Ek Sonnchan for offering their Golf Village Driving Range free of charge for such a long time. The world governing body for golf, the R&A [Royal & Ancient], has been very generous by providing sufficient junior, ladies and men’s golf clubs free for training, and we now have enough equipment to cater for our increasing student numbers.”
Meanwhile, The R&A also provided 1,200 rule books, golf caps, pens, badges, towels and backpacks.
Many of the students who took part in the 2012 course were very young – in the age group of 4 and 6 years – and required more basic swing training than stronger and older students.
In this context, Hunt’s suggestion to the CGF is to start a sub-junior section, placing an age limit of seven years and over.
The clinics for 2013 will be slightly modified, with those who attended this year’s program taking up a more advanced course which will include all facets of the game.
Four new students have already registered for the next season and those interested in joining may register their names at the Golf Village Driving Range situated on Street 598 in Chrang Chamres 1 commune of Russey Keo district.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at firstname.lastname@example.org