Veteran PGA pro (originally from Canberra) and Singapore-based Australian Scott Barr has been appointed to train the Singaporean national elite squad in the country’s new scheme to raise the standards of golf from junior to professional ranks.
The Singapore Golf Association (SGA) announced on Wednesday, January 10 its plans for the new three tiers of the national set-up (elite, development and junior) with former head coach Andrew Welsford to be replaced with three part-time national coaches.
With Barr trusted to coach the elite squad, former top amateurs and touring pros Goh Kun Yang and Justin Han have been elected to handle the development and junior squads.
The revamped training programs will see the elite squads receive scenario-based training that replicate competition conditions in a bid to better prepare national players as well as more frequent and intensive training sessions for the development and junior squads, among other changes.
The new program was developed to build on the country’s success from last year which saw Singapore golf win its first SEA Games gold in 28 years.
“The SEA Games (gold medal) was really a high for us and it is for the sort of occasion that we at SGA are gathering our talent younger and training them harder,” said SGA president Ross Tan at Sentosa Golf Club after a video of the SEA Games triumph was screened.
“To all the young golfers here, I would like to tell you that there will be a lot of hard work for sure, but the SGA will be here to provide all the support we can give.”
SGA’s high performance manager and acting general manager Jerome Ng stressed that the national set-up and coaching system were not intended to replace players’ own coaches.
“We are focusing more on scenario-based training, players’ short games and their decision-making. So it’s about how we can help develop golfers and take them to the next level,” he said.
The SGA also announced the formation of an overseas squad that will provide support for and track the performances of top amateurs based abroad, and a new Rookie Professionals programme that the association hopes will smoothen the often bumpy transition from the amateur to the professional ranks.