Recognition and Tribute to our Founders

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Recognition and Tribute to our Founders

Since its inception in 1997, the Youth Golf Programme has benefited some 4500 youth, most of whom would not have had the opportunity to learn this expensive game if not for the community outreach effort of the Youth Golf Programme ‘s annual charity project.

I would like to pay tribute to key people. Junior golf development would not have been possible if not for the significant contributions from these key personnel who have been my pillars of support .

The idea of doing a sports charity project for youth in the community came from then Sports Editor of Straits Times, the late Mr Tay Cheng Khoon. A keen sportsman and golfer, he was able to envision that golf would never make a mark in Singapore’s sports history if there was no long term plan to develop juniors. The numbers for the base of the pyramid would then be limited to the children of the rich who were the ones who could afford expensive golf club memberships. As Laguna National Golf and Country Club was keen to do their part of Corporate Social Responsibility, the late Mr Tay mooted the idea of a Community Youth Golf project where funds would be raised through an annual charity golf event. Donations would be channelled to sports development, namely golf.

Laguna National Golf and Country Club opened its doors to youth from schools, who are not members of any golf clubs. Professionals from the club also did their part for charity by teaching at subsidized rates.

Sincere thanks also go to Mr Peter Kwee, owner of Laguna National Golf and Country Club who had then so graciously opened his course to these 4500 young juniors. His kind gesture has been a catalyst to promoting the interest of golf in our young ones.

The late Mrs Winifred Lim was the President of the Singapore Ladies Golf Association (1999-2004). During her tenure, she shared the same belief that we needed to train juniors. I was then Honorary Secretary to the Singapore Ladies Golf Association. She supported my developmental plan of running a talent identification and training programme for all junior girls interested in the game. The sign-up for this programme started with 24 girls, some of whom had previously played golf. Their lowest handicap then was 13. Some even did not have a golf handicap. However, within 2 years, more than half of these young junior girls played to single handicap. By 2008, one amongst them had turned Professional. Today, we now have 3 from this initial cohort who have turned professional, two of whom are currently playing in the Professional Ladies tour circuit.

Written by: Dr Janice Khoo