It’s that time of the year again when kids as young as five head to the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club to get their first taste of golf. The Abu Dhabi club’s Junior Future Falcons Programme gets underway on April 14, involving kids aged five-13 years.
The main aim of this programme is to create fun in golf for juniors and develop a lifelong love of the game in future generations of golfers. The programme also aims to help juniors develop functional movement skills, and when these movements are mastered, more specific fundamental golf skills. According to Martin Robinson, Head Teaching Professional, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the response to this programme has been amazing.
“We had around 70-80 kids last year and expect the same again. They come from all age-groups and nationalities and it was a joy watching them learn,” Robinson told XPRESS.
“With the youngest lot, we start with functional movements, basically motor skills. We use tennis balls and baseball bats as well as obstacle courses. We build muscular awareness. It’s been scientifically proven that all these are necessary to develop golfing skills thereafter,” he added.
There are a few Emirati kids too thrown into the mix. “Their numbers are few but it’s still a start. We mostly have kids from India, Pakistan, UK and the US. But what is very encouraging is that girls constitute about 30 per cent of participants,” he said.
The kids who really excel at the end of eight weekly sessions then go for the advanced and elite classes. “Last year we had six from this programme taking part in tournaments. Most of the clubs here have junior tournaments. The best kids in the 12-16 age-groups recently took part in the world-renowned Faldo series qualifiers in Al Ain. Thereafter, they either go back to their home countries to pursue the game professionally or head to the US for collegiate golf,” he said.
With its miniature golf course open only to kids, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club provides the perfect setting for future champions. “The small course is perfectly designed for these kids. The holes are about a quarter of the normal length and we also have a five-hole competition on the course, besides competitions for nearest to pin and putting competition for the older age-groups,” he said.
The Junior Golf Program consists of 8 consecutive weekly 60-minute sessions. Each group will be a maximum of six juniors per instructor and will be divided based on age and ability.
The prices are Dh595 per person (8 x 60 minute sessions) and Dh850 per person (8 x 90 minute sessions) Advanced Class
To register complete the FORM (which can be found on http://www.sbgolfclub.ae/en/) and email it to PJ Van Merch at email@example.com or call 02 557 8000.