By HENRY MORABANG
JUNIOR development programmes are the foundation to any sport and golf is no exception.
Papua New Guinea golf’s junior development programme has already produced two promising golfers who will be part of Team PNG to the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in December.
National golf coach Nelson Gabriel, and key stakeholders and the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club are the driving force behind the junior golf programme.
“The junior golf programme is an initiative taken by the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club,” Gabriel said.
Nelson said the programme had been running for the last five years, and was into its sixth year.
It has been a successful programme with good support from companies such as Remington.
“Remington sponsors raffle draws every Saturday with all the money going to junior and youth golf programmes,” he said.
The junior and youth programme has four levels.
Gabriel, who oversees all golfing programmes, said level 1 was for beginners, level 2 for juniors while level 3 is for those preparing for handicaps and they are identified and given numbers.
Level 4 is for players with a handicap, and they must be at least 18 years old.
“Level 4 players will be classified after theory and practical sessions and they will take part on the course so they can be assessed and given their handicap,” he said.
Nelson said currently he had more than 45 juniors and youth taking part in the junior programme.
“We need extra hands to help us with juniors. We are pleased with Kessie Koma, one of the leading golfers at the club who has agreed to help out on the junior programme,” he said.
The coach said Vagi James (boys) and Natalie Mok (girl) were current leading junior players and would be part of the golf team to the Pacific Mini Games this year.
Other members of the team are Justin Brownskill (Australia), Winston Yakapus (Kokopo) and Morgan Anato. The women’s team has Kristen Seko, Danney Clamp and Mok. The team officials are Gabriel and team manager Rosalin Taufa.
By HENRY MORABANG