The Els Club Desaru Coast hosted its first major junior event, The Junior Golf Challenge, in effort to grow the game
The award-winning Els Club Malaysia is celebrating the success of the inaugural Junior Golf Challenge after 85 budding participants took to the stunning Els Club Desaru Coast Ocean Course and Academy Course from May 11-12, 2018.
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 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 score cards, 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 out 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.
Of the competition, General Manger, Stephen Havrilla, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed the many juniors taking part in this very first Junior Golf Challenge to The Els Club Desaru Coast. 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 85-strong field of young golfers. The two loops of nine on the Ocean Course, the Ridge and the Coast, hosted division A and B juniors with an exceptional standard of golf displayed. The winning score in the division A girls section was a total 145, one-under-par by Ashley Goh, and Thian How Lo was awarded victory with his four-under-par 142 total after a countback in the division A boys section.
The division B players (aged 12-15) also showed promising finishes with Jake Foley posting a total 154, eight-over-par finish and Alyaana Arman recording a total of 166, 20-over-par. Finally, taking on the challenges of the Academy Course, Putera Qiam Qarius Mohammad Yusman posted a six-over-par score to win the boys’ division C, while Jaymin Ng’s 10-over-par finish secured the girls’ trophy.
PGA Head Professional, P-J 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 truly 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 can take into future events. As the first event of its kind in the region, 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 would like to thank the team at Desaru for making this event such a success, as well as giving my thanks to the juniors who took part.”