Singapore (July 8): Singapore number one Mardan Mamat has thrown his weight behind a new initiative to support elite junior golf development in the Republic.
The Youth Golf Programme (YGP)-Mardan Adoption Scheme will be run at Raffles Country Club (RCC) with Mardan taking an active role.
Members of the panel overseeing the project are Mardan along with AC Wong, former Jurong Country Club Captain and the driving force behind the ASEAN PGA Tour, RCC Captain David Soh and Janice Khoo, who pioneered the development squad in the Singapore Ladies Golf Association in 2002 and has been Chair to the YGP for Laguna from 2005.
Khoo, Chairperson of the YGP, said the objective of the scheme was three-fold – (a) to train selected students enabling them to excel; (b) character development and (c) to have Mardan act as mentor and role model.
The first three students to be selected for the programme are Leverett Chua (St Gabriel’s Sec School); Muhd Syabil Bin Abdul Kadir (Montfort Sec School) and Joey Poh (YGP alumni).
Khoo said: “The selected students have gone through several levels of selection. Each had satisfied the selection criteria and have been nominated by their school teachers, with endorsement from their teaching golf professional. We hope we can expand further and benefit more youth in the future.”
Students will be trained at RCC on Saturday mornings under the watchful eye of Mardan, both at the range and on the course.
Mardan, the only Singaporean to win on the European Tour, will share and guide them on advanced golf skills and techniques; playing competitive golf and playing with the right attitude and direction.
The training period will be on a year-to-year basis, with six-monthly assessments done. Students will get to continue as long as they improve, show commitment and are gaining from the scheme.
The YGP is a Community Youth Golf Project initiated by Laguna National Golf and Country Club (LNGCC) in 1997. The objective was to reach out and teach golf to youth who do not have the means to own expensive golf club memberships, yet have a keen interest to learn the game.
Since its inauguration, the YGP had its training grounds at Laguna before moving to Marina Bay Golf Course in 2012.
Initially there were three schools enrolled in the programme but that number has now swelled to 11. The programme also caters to a group of ‘Special Individuals’ who come from other schools not enrolled as part of these 11 schools.