The search is on for a new generation of golfers, thanks to organisers of a children’s golf clinic scheduled for March.
The Kingdom’s first official clinic will be held for free at the Sofitel Phokeethra Country Club in Siem Reap, and will be jointly run by golf operations manager Jack Hedges and Angkor Palace driving range golf coach David Maxwell.
According to Hedges, the clinic will welcome 50 boys and girls from the ages of 7 to 16, to be split into two groups of 25.
Which schools and orphanages that the Children will be chosen from in Siem Reap is yet to be decided.
Hedges noted that the children would need to be taught more than just the basic golfing skills such as swinging, chipping and putting.
“Many kids here don’t even know what golf is,” he said. “So we will give them an introduction into what golf is, [as well as] the rules of golf and etiquette. We will take them around the course, and there will be games and competitions.”
Hedges also revealed that at the end of the day-long clinic, he would choose a handful of children who showed potential to sponsor them for a year to learn golf.
“We will speak to the children and their parents. We will allow them to use the courses facilities, provide coaching and golf clubs.”
Local 17-year-old amateur golfer Seng Vanseiha is slated to attend the clinic as a role model for the children. Seiha has competed as an amateur in the last three Johnnie Walker Cambodian Opens, with a best finish of 105th in the 2009 event.
Hedges said despite there being several good golfers in the Kingdom, there was a lack of professional golfers. No Cambodians currently play on a Tour.
He added that there were already plans for future clinics, with the potential long-term goal of starting a golfing academy for local children.
The clinic is backed by the Cambodian Golf Federation and discussions are almost complete with the R&A, golf’s worldwide governing body, to provide equipment for the sessions.