Shaaban confident of future talent pool

TOP TWO: Nurdiyana Aqilah (left) and Mohd Shakiran (right) pose with Shaaban Hussin at the end of the camp

Subang: Seasoned professional Shaaban Hussin expressed his confidence for the future of Malaysian golf after seeing first hand the junior development programme spearheaded by the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) with the support of banking conglomerate Maybank.

Shaaban joined hands with fellow MGA products S. Sivachandhran, Sukree Othman, Ainil Johani and veteran professional M. Ramayah in grooming ninety-three of the nation’s most brightest young golf talents during the Maybank National Junior Golf Camp, which concluded today at the Saujana Golf & Country Club.

The three-day intensive programme was aimed at imparting an advanced level of golfing technique, mental preparation and course management skills to the youngsters aged between 12 and 16 years of age. Importance was also placed on equipping these juniors with adequate knowledge on golf rules and etiquette to take their game to the next level.

Shaaban, who spend a few hours on Wednesday sharing his experience and array of match-winning shots to the participants, felt that golf in the country will prosper with the emergence of such young and talented players through the ranks.

“I had a great time coaching these tender-aged golfers and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being able to equip the next generation of our champions with skills required to succeed. It is heartening to see these kids with good swings and such eagerness to learn and improve on their game,” said the Maybank brand ambassador, who enjoyed a long and successful career as an amateur.

“I’m confident that the emergence of these young guns augurs well for the future of golf in this country. We must congratulate corporate bodies such as Maybank for extending their support to MGA in conducting this programme. I feel that such support is vital if we are to unearth another batch of successful champions for the years to come,” added the 31-year-old.

Shaaban also advised the juniors to stay focused and dedicate themselves to the game. “Most of these juniors have the fundamentals right but they still have to work on their mental and physical aspect if they want to move forward. There’s no easy way to success as the standard out there is getting ever so high, so you have to put in the extra effort to succeed.”

The camp also featured a talk on mental strength and motivation conducted by National Sports Institute sports psychology officer Nik Azma Hanin Nik Ismail as well as a fitness work classroom by Peter Ling and Young Swee Tiong of Fitness First Asia. Fittingly, participants ended their stints on a high note by putting their new learned skills into practice during a championship match at the challenging Palm layout today.

Johor Golf & Country Club’s Nurdiyana AqilahKhalim was the awarded the best girl award while Mohd Shakiran Johari of Kelab Golf Putra Perlis took the honours in the boys’ division. The duo were visibly excited at the chance of teeing-up alongside the best professionals from both the European and Asian Tours during the Maybank Malaysian Open 2012 Pro-Am at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

In addition, all participants of the camp also received season passes to the 51st edition of the national Open, scheduled for April 14-17 next year.

MGA president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato Setia’ Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor took to heart that Maybank has continued to support the association’s effort in promoting the game of golf and its ideals to the younger generation. “It is our vision to expand golf right down to the grassroots level and forms part of our roadmap to produce talented young champions that will bring glory and honour to the country. We are thankful to Maybank for helping us achieve this objective through this initiative,” he said.