Pres­i­dent’s Word

HK Golfer - - Around The Hkga - Har­ald Du­dok van Heel Pres­i­dent Hong Kong Golf As­so­ci­a­tion

The first day of the Year of the Rooster saw a fly­ing start for lo­cal golf. In the Hong Kong Close Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship one of our HKGA young guns, Leon D’Souza, scored a new course record of 61 at the New Course of the Hong Kong Golf Club with 10 birdies on his card. He went on to win the tour­na­ment (61-73-69-67) and booked him­self a spot at the UBS Hong Kong Open later in the year.

Turn­ing 19 this May, Leon joined the HKGA as a Ju­nior Squad mem­ber since 2009. He started his com­pe­ti­tion from the age of 12 and won his first ever cham­pi­onship four years later in the AmBank SportEx­cel In­ter­na­tional Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships. Leon seemed to be over­showed by some of his team­mates in re­cent years but this cool-headed young man kept his head down and worked tire­lessly in pol­ish­ing his skills with the HKGA coaches. Peo­ple say ‘ev­ery cloud has a sil­ver lin­ings’ and this is a true re­flec­tion of Leon.

When the spot­lights are on D’Souza, we should also be proud of the other squad mem­bers’ en­cour­ag­ing per­for­mance in the same tour­na­ment. 10 out of the top 12 fin­ish­ers are from the HKGA na­tional squad. I am very de­lighted to see our in­vest­ment over the years in the HKGA ju­nior de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme is start­ing to bear fruits.

If we trace fur­ther down the roots. we could see an­other layer of teenagers are al­ready in the pipe­line. With cur­rent play­ers such as Leon D’Souza, Ter­rence Ng, Wu Sho Wai, Taichi Kho, Chris Mun, Chloe Chan, just to name a few, mar­ry­ing the up and com­ing sec­ond tier play­ers, they will make a strong force to rep­re­sent Hong Kong in the 2020 World Am­a­teur Team Cham­pi­onships. The HKGA has plans to en­rich its ju­nior de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme in the com­ing years by step­ping up our coach­ing, such as low­er­ing the player/coach ra­tio to achieve bet­ter qual­ity train­ing, bet­ter use of sports sci­ence sup­ports that are avail­able in the ter­ri­tory, widen player base to chan­nel young tal­ents into the sport… etc. The sup­ports from the var­i­ous golf clubs in Hong Kong by pro­vid­ing tee times for na­tional squad mem­bers to prac­tice has unar­guably proved to be a vi­tal part for the young play­ers to fast track to a higher level.

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