Golfing at a grassroots level will be introduced to Cambodian schoolchildren thanks to a joint initiative between the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap and British golfing legend Sir Nick Faldo.
The six-time Major winner teamed up with the golf course to bring his Faldo Series, a global golf development programme, to the Kingdom and the inaugural Faldo Series Cambodia Championship will be held at the AGR on September 11 to 12.
The pioneering tournament will be open to players of both sexes and of all nationalities aged 12 to 21 years old, and will be played over two rounds. The field is to be divided into age groups – two for boys and two for girls – with the winners joining Sir Nick for the 7th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in China the following March.
While players aged up to 21 are eligible to play, the main thrust of the series is to introduce the game to schoolkids, especially girls, according to AGR General Manager Adam Robertson.
“The significance of this programme is basically to introduce golf at a grassroots level to children who wish to understand the game of golf. There are very few male, and even fewer female, golfers here in Cambodia, which is why it is important we introduce golf to children,” he said.
“The fact that the programme is endorsed by Sir Nick Faldo and the Royal and Ancient [Golf Club] of St Andrews adds special credence to hosting the Faldo Series. Having golf as one of the extracurriculum activities set out by schools here in Cambodia is a start to hopefully nurturing a talented Cambodian to become a future Asian Tour star.”
Sir Nick Faldo also stressed the importance of educating schoolkids about golf.
“Cambodia is a special place for me. So I am delighted to bring the series here and give opportunity to the country’s young golfers,” he said in a press release.
Faldo thanked the AGR owner and executive director Holic Tandijono for sharing his vision, adding: “The series is one of a number of charitable initiatives in the country that we are working on together.”
Tandijono, an Indonesian casino tycoon, said in a press release: “We are delighted to continue our excellent relationship with Sir Nick, and we believe the Faldo Series can make a real difference to golf in Cambodia.
“We will introduce a strong grassroots element to the event to help create access to the game for local children. Hopefully, they will be inspired to take up the game and return one day as competitors themselves.”
The Faldo Series was established in 1996, and currently hosts 37 Faldo Series tournaments in 27 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year.
Past winners include Major champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
The Faldo Series Asia is supported by partners ISPS, Mission Hills, The R&A, official golf-wear partner UFL and official suppliers TaylorMade and Tricor.
It is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation.
A full 2012-2013 Faldo Series Asia schedule will be announced shortly.
Last season, 17 tournaments were held in 13 countries, including five in mainland China, plus others in the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Brunei, Japan, Taiwan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.
To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Olszewski at [email protected]