Johor Bahru, Malaysia: The award-winning Els Club Malaysia is celebrating the success of its inaugural Junior Golf Challenge.
Ahead of the event, and in line with Troon Player Development month, The Els Club Malaysia offered discounted practise rounds for both juniors and accompanying adults. Many of the participants utilised this programme and had a practise round to prepare for the tournament experience.
With the ethos of the competition mirroring that of The Els Performance Golf Academy Little Easy Young Athlete programme, which is structured around the ‘learn, enjoy, improve and play’ aspects, the event provided a competitive platform but in a fun and enjoyable environment.
The competition over the Els Club Desaru Coast Ocean Course and Academy Course featured 85 players and was structured into three divisions: A: 16-18 years, B: 12-15 years and C: 11 years and under. At registration all juniors received engraved bag tags and personalised scorecards, lockers and golf carts.
Day one saw many of the juniors utilise the extensive practise facilities, including driving range and chipping and putting greens, to get their eye in before heading onto the course. During play, the club utilised the on-board live scoring system within its fleet of Club Cars, which provided updates throughout the round for both parents and spectators to see.
“We are delighted to have welcomed the many juniors taking part in this very first Junior Golf Challenge to The Els Club Desaru Coast,” said Stephen Havrilla, General Manager, Els Club Malaysia, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“The courses were in great condition and we witnessed some truly spectacular golf by these budding young golfers. We would like to thank all the spectators and guests who attended, as well as the sponsors who supported the event: Hello Kitty, Kidzania, Legoland, Thomas Town and FootJoy. We look forward to future events of this kind and supporting more juniors with their golf.”
Both the Ocean and Academy courses provided a test to the young golfers. The two loops of nine on the Ocean Course, the Ridge and the Coast, hosted Division A and B juniors. The winning score in the Division A Girls’ section was one-under-par 145 by Ashley Goh. In the Division A Boys’ section Thian How Lo was awarded victory with a total of four-under 142 total after a countback.
In Division B, Jake Foley topped the standings with a score of 154, followed by Alyaana Arman (166).
Taking on the challenges of the Academy Course, Putera Qiam Qarius Mohammad Yusman posted a six-over-par score to win Boys’ Division C, while Jaymin Ng’s 10-over-par finish secured the Girls’ trophy.
PGA Head Professional PJ Van Merch said: “We have been thrilled with the number of juniors who have taken part in this inaugural event. We had been aiming for 40 participants so to double this number was fantastic. It has been great to see so many parents and juniors enjoying a practise round prior to the event and having several new faces around the club.
“We have had a great deal of positive feedback from parents and spectators which we hope we can take into future events. We have really tried to go the extra mile to give juniors the best possible experience in what would have been the first competition for some. I thank the team at Desaru for making this event such a success, as well as giving my thanks to the juniors who took part.”