Mak­ing golf more ac­ces­si­ble to youth

New Straits Times - - Business World -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Golf As­so­ci­a­tion (MGA) is mak­ing golf more ac­ces­si­ble and friendly to the youths of to­day to en­sure the con­ti­nu­ity of the sport.

MGA pres­i­dent Tan Sri Mohd An­war Mohd Nor and its hon­orary trea­surer, Bryan Per­era, said the as­so­ci­a­tion’s new project, the GoGolf pro­gramme, would help ad­dress this is­sue.

“There are about 2.1 mil­lion peo­ple from the younger seg­ment who have ex­pressed in­ter­est in golf, but were un­able to find a suit­able plat­form to get a head start in the sport,” said An­war in an in­ter­view with NST Busi­ness.

“This is why we de­cided that it was high time we launched this pro­gramme to make the sport more ac­ces­si­ble to the masses.

“It would also ful­fil Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak’s man­date to pro­mote golf not merely as an ex­clu­sive sport.”

The GoGolf pro­gramme is open to pro­fes­sion­als, am­a­teurs and be­gin­ners. Mem­bers will be en­ti­tled to spe­cial priv­i­leges at 129 golf clubs na­tion­wide.

A GoGolf mem­ber­ship will also in­clude in­stant pro­vi­sional hand­i­cap sta­tus for non-Na­tional Hand­i­cap­ping Sys­tem (NHS) golfers, let­ting them play at more than 100 golf cour­ses.

Mem­bers are also en­ti­tled to on­line and mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion golf book­ings, par­tic­i­pa­tion in in­ter-club cham­pi­onships, loy­alty re­ward pro­grammes, dis­counts on pro­fes­sional golf les­sons and ac­cess to mem­ber clubs fa­cil­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to Per­era, 70 golf clubs had con­firmed their par­tic­i­pa­tion in this ini­tia­tive.

“The dream is to have all the clubs join (the pro­gramme), but we un­der­stand that it will take a while.

“We be­lieve that once those clubs who haven’t joined see the suc­cess of the 70 that did, they, too, will join,” he said.

An­war said this new ini­tia­tive was for the ben­e­fit of the youth of the coun­try.

“Though MGA has worked dili­gently to main­tain the in­tegrity and legacy of the game, we are well aware that we need to change with the times, and this is why the GoGolf Pro­gramme is here,” he said.

“In de­vel­op­ing GoGolf, we will have a plat­form that makes golf more ac­ces­si­ble to Malaysian youth.

“We will also con­tin­u­ously com­mu­ni­cate with them through so­cial me­dia and other plat­forms that they are fa­mil­iar with.”

The GoGolf Pro­gramme, which was of­fi­cially launched last month, had also en­listed Zurich In­sur­ance Malaysia Bhd, Finexus Group and Bank Sim­panan Na­sional as its of­fi­cial part­ners, with sev­eral more part­ner­ships still in dis­cus­sion.

PIC BY MOHD YUSNI ARIF­FIN

MGA pres­i­dent Tan Sri Mohd An­war Mohd Nor (right) and its hon­orary trea­surer, Bryan Per­era, hopes the re­cently launched GoGolf pro­gramme will be a step­ping stone to get­ting more youths in­volved in the sport, as well as pro­mot­ing golf as a sport for the masses.

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