KUALA LUMPUR: Golfer Sim You Jin, who has competed in several national golf tournaments, is coached by a former Malaysian PGA champion and can hit balls up to 200m at the driving range all before his seventh birthday.
Ever since he picked up golfing from his older brother at the tender age of two, You Jin has fallen in love with the sport, and fervently trains twice a week at Taman Puteri, Cheras, with RGT Technology Sdn Bhds director of golf education Tony Maloney.
With the lack of opportunities for the youngster to pursue a career in golf in the country, father Sim Kong Soon, 45, was pleasantly surprised when he chanced upon the Australian Institute for Golf Management in the inaugural Stargolf pullout last week.
For me, education comes first, golf second. And with the institute, I know there is something for my son in terms of a career, he said during the institute's briefing at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club here yesterday.
He was among 100 people present to hear the institute's head of vocational education and training, Judy Tan, explain the various pathways to golf-related careers at the Perth-based tertiary institution, which provides golf management education and technique training to students.
Also present was a graduate of the institute Ahmad Khalif Mustapha Kamal and resident golf professional Ian Redmond, who gave a free clinic.
Most parents, who had accompanied their children to find out more about the institute, were grateful it offered an opportunity to combine their childrens passion for the game with rigorous academic training.
Parents Mohamed Radhi Cheah and Joriah Cheah said the course suited the changing mindset of the younger generation, who they said were starting to place personal fulfilment ahead of money or job security.
Youngsters nowadays want to enjoy what they are doing, and not just do things for the sake of their parents, said Joriah.
Tan said most graduates found jobs within the golf industry, and used their education to run golf-related businesses or assume managerial positions in golf clubs.
Redmond said students would get a chance to develop their technique at the Joondalup Country Club, recently voted Australias premier resort golf course by Golf Australia Magazine.
Students who come to the institute will be placed under a golf improvement programme, which covers the technical, tactical, mental and physical aspects of golfing, he said.
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