One of Britain’s leading golf professionals, Alex Belt, will arrive in Siem Reap during the second week of January for a three-month stint at the Angkor Golf Resort, primarily to use the facilities at the award-winning Nick Faldo-designed course as part of his winter training programme.
Apart from focusing on his training regimen, the 30-year-old PGA touring professional will also spend time with fellow Britons David Baron, AGR’s director of golf, and Alan Martin, head professional, in providing a number of services to the guests, as well as sharing his expertise and experience with local staff members and golfers.
“David Baron is a close friend of mine and I have followed his career closely, which brought my attention to the AGR,” Belt told the Post yesterday.
“The course and facilities are world-class; it is a privilege to have the opportunity to be associated with the resort.”
Belt began the year by winning twice in Spain on the Evolve Tour, recording a nine-under-par round to tie the course record at El Valle. He has had nine course records in his short career in golf, a sport he took up after dabbling in football. Incidentally, five of those records still stand to this day.
Starting out as a footballer with Hull City, Belt moved to York City. But when he could make no headway on the pitch, he turned to the fairways. And this remarkable switch has changed the course of his life.
In his own words, Belt recalled that transition. “Football just fizzled out and I had been playing at my local course. My handicap was low and the owner of the venue paid for my PGA training fees so I was able to start a career as a professional.”
Keen to make up lost time as a professional golfer, Belt enjoyed a phenomenal 12-month run in 2014, securing 26 professional tournament victories and claiming a win on the Euro Pro Tour along the way.
Alex’s order of merit position this year meant he qualified for the European Tours flagship event, the BMW Championship, where he played alongside Korean superstar and eventual winner Byeong An.
While fine-tuning his game and focusing on his physical conditioning, Belt will also set aside some time to work with Baron and Martin along with the rest of the AGR team.
“As we are into the high season, the course will be busy and Alex’s experience will be useful in a number of areas. He will be working alongside Martin, assisting to coach the team of 12 junior golfers recently selected from the Angkor Golf Junior Development programme,” Baron told the Post yesterday.
“Belt will also make himself available to provide tuition and ‘play with the pro’ experiences through the Angkor Golf Academy.
He will be able to provide our caddies with valuable insights and we look forward to involving him in the caddy training programme. In general, his presence can only enhance the services provided and the guest experience here at AGR," Baron said.
“This will be my first visit to Cambodia and I’m really excited to get started. I am very impressed with what they are doing for junior golf development and I’d be more than happy to help in any way,” Belt added.