MGA keen on an Olympic medal
National governing body updates referees on new rules and calls on ministry to help out with a national coach
THE Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) have said they plan to win a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and do well at next year’s South-East Asian (SEA) Games with a similar goal.
They also urged the Sports Ministry to lend their support to golf for the development of the game, and are updating dating their referees and the public at large ono the new rules that will come into effect at t the beginning of January.
In a wide-ranging interview with Te TeeUp, MGA vice-president and Rules subcommittee chairman C.C. Boo said the e way things stand at the moment Gavin Gre een and young Ervin Chang are the count try’s best hopes of major success on the international stage.
“There has been much discussion in n recent weeks and months by our spor rts ministry and the general public on Malaysia’s 2020 Olympic plans to secu ure a first-ever gold medal. Although golf w was never in the podium programme, we have faith in our young and talented golfer rs such as Gavin, who could be the one to sec ure our elusive and first Olympic gold me edal in 2020.
“The way we see it, the player (Gav in) who topped the Asian Tour’s Order of f Merit last season is the one heading in the r right direction leading to the 2020 Olympic cs.
“On the amateur scene, next year’s SEA Games in the Philippines will be anoth her target for gold. We are pretty sure our r US-based golfers – Ervin, Loy Hee Yin g, Ashley Lau and Natasha Andrea Oon – will spearhead Malaysia’s golf team towar rds our first gold medal in the regional Game s. “We are impressed with Ervin’s pro ogress and his current good form, finishing 7 7th at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championsh hips in Singapore last week, after winning a c couple of local tournaments.
“His performance in Singapore clea arly showed that Malaysian golfers can po ose a challenge to golf ’s Asian powerhouse players from Japan, China, Korea, Tha ailand and the Philippines.
“Ervin is Malaysia’s next big hope aftera Gavin to raise our Gemilang flag at m major events. “We salute their parents, fami ilies, friends and coaches for the sacrifices in nurturing, guiding and shaping them into who they are today and we will contin nue to support their efforts to bring about gr reater success for these players.”
Boo added: “We are hopeful that ou ur
Sports Ministry and the National Sports Council will pay greater attention to golf and provide funding to support the development of the game.
“It is my big hope that the ministry will consider funding a national coach (local or foreign) for the MGA to provide advanced coaching and guidance for our national squads.”
With reference to the Royal & Ancient (R&A) releasing the final Rules of Golf 2019, both in print and digital formats, in early September, Boo said that the MGA’s Rules sub-committee “wasted no time organising a referees’ get-together and new rules briefing.
This was to update our registered referees and ensure they are kept abreast of the latest rules and that they be “Rules Ready” come January 2019.”
He added that 71 MGA-registered referees drawn from around Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak, attended a recent seminar conducted by five instructors. They were headed by Boo himself and included
Yeoh Chin Nam and Mohd Khairi.
“The five us were updated on the new rules at a seminar conducted by the R&A at the end of April,” he said.
Addressing the local briefing, Boo implored the referees to get to grasps with the new rules in the next two and a half months before they take effect.
Wong took the class through the major changes of the rules which are simplified with explanations and rationale of maintaining the basic principles of playing the course as you find it and playing the ball as it lies. “There was a lot of interest generated with questions from participants,” said Boo.
The class was taken for an on-course demonstration conducted by Yeoh, Harbans and Khairi with specifics related to the teeing area, bunkers, putting greens, penalty areas and general l areas. “The referees were w shown how to determine relief areas, reference r points and lines when taking relief r in abnormal course conditions, embedded-ball e strokes, and distances back on o the line of relief.”
“The instructors also updated the referees on o the Rules of Amateur Status, the latest MGA M standing orders of procedure (SOP) as well w as a few case studies of good ruling reports.” r
MGA president Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd M Nor thanked the participants for turning t up to learn more about the new rules r and urged them to keep up their good work. w
Boo said they would be conducting more r rules seminars and presentations t throughout the country for golfers in g general, golf club committees and staff, the m media and event organisers.
The MGA and the R&A will host a Level 2 R Rules seminar at KPGA on Nov 24 and 25, L Level 1 seminars for the general public at K KPGA on Nov 23 and Kota Permai Golf & C Country Club on Dec 1.
Boo added that a presentation for the p participants of the US Kids Golf Tournament a at Tanjung Puteri Golf Resort in Johor will t take place on Dec 18.
“We also welcome requests from golf c clubs throughout the country to organise r rules briefings or Level 1 seminars for club m members,” he said.
In-form Ervin Chang, with his KL Amateur Open trophy (right), is being touted as a potential Olympian.
A general view of the construction site of the athletes’ village for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where the MGA hope to make an impression.