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Masters of golf in the making

Posted : 19 September 2013
Daryn Wood

TWO Walmer Country Club coaches are dedicating their time and resources to introduce the exclusive game of golf to children who would not normally have the chance to play.

Former pro Joseph Trongo and Gary Packer, the head golf professional at the club, have started a development programme through which they hope to nurture the country’s future golfing stars.

The programme, which started about three months ago, consists of 37 children from various schools.

The two coaches split the children into manageable groups for their lessons. There is an even number of boys and girls.

“We hope to see children reach EP junior and even SA level.

“We want to get stuck in and give them decent coaching,” Packer said.

He hoped to see them playing in the schools league when they have accumulated enough knowledge and experience.

Trongo takes the youngsters out on the golf course once a week. He says they are thrilled with the game.

“There is no funding for the programme yet,” said Packer, who added that without funds it would not be sustainable.

“We do it for the good of the kids,” he explained.

Walmer Country Club general manager George Koen said the yearly subsidy for financially challenged members was changed from R2950 to R500 to ensure these golfers had a chance to access the club’s facilities.

Koen is impressed with both Trongo and Packer’s level of involvement in the community.

“We want to produce professionals, there are no two ways about it,” Koen said.

What has surprised him is the manner in which club members have embraced the initiative despite this being a sport that is sometimes considered elitist.

He admitted that although there had been some resistance to both the initiative and him as a manager, “the country club has come a long way”.

Additional reporting by Lwazi Ndima

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