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Reply to topic The “Near Impossible” Dream of Becoming A Pro Golfer in MY

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The “Near Impossible” Dream of Becoming A Pro Golfer in MY
Kuan Yew
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The “Near Impossible” Dream of Becoming A Pro Golfer in Malaysia
by Kuan Yew, The Golf Man



When it comes to golf, most golfers have a common dream – to play golf on a professional level, compete in PGA / Asian Tours around the world and make millions from tournament wins and brand sponsorship deals. After close to 5 years of golf, hundreds of hours watching the real pros play on Golf Channel and countless beer sessions with golfers alike in Malaysia, it’s clear that whoever that came up with the saying below is a pure genius...

“A bad day at the golf course is still better than a great day at work...”

We’ve all been taught that we can set our goals and work backwards around it to finally achieve it someday, and that it all starts with proper planning and all.

Well, my dream is simple, to play golf like a professional, like Tiger Woods, or Rory McIlroy, or Phil Mickelson, or even like our hottest and most promising local amateur right now, Gavin Kyle Green. So, how could one possibly get there? Let’s look at working backwards around this little dream of us crazy golfers in Malaysia.

Just to be clear, we’re looking at this from the perspectives of the middle-aged, high handicapped weekend golf enthusiasts who grind the hours at work on most weekdays with little time to balance between golf, family and other things on their weekends.


Challenge Number One - Time


Practise makes perfect, there’s nothing better than practising hard on and off the course to firstly, improve our level of golf – there’s a saying that the pros hit 2,000 balls a day, and on top of that, spend time at the gym to improve their physical fitness, strength and stamina. Here’s our first dilemma, how much time can we actually dedicate ourselves to practising golf when we all have a full time job in hand? Once or twice a week is common, with 100-300 balls per session, that’s so far from what the pros are doing, but they can do it on a full time basis, we can only do it part time.


Challenge Number Two - Money


Not all are born with a silver spoon in the mouth, but suppose we are so lucky that we do have the time to spend on golf on a full time basis, here comes the second dilemma - money. There are many golf coaches out there who could teach us how to golf at a ‘reasonable’ rate and they’re pretty accessible for most of us. However, they could probably teach us how to play better weekend golf and help us win some money from our friends. To get us to the professional level, a true pro in Malaysia once quoted my friend a monthly fee of RM5,000. Now that’s not a small sum for most of us, more so if neither us (the golfers) nor our parents are millionaires with money and time to spend on golf. Bummer...


Challenge Number Three - Lack of a Big Fat Helping Hand

Now if you have both time and money, great, you should start making it to the pro level, get started! But for most of us who don’t have that, it’s a natural thing to start looking for alternative channels, to look for some assistance. Business can get bank loans or apply for grants from the government, students can apply for scholarships like PTPTN and so on, but golfers like us.... where can we go to?



After some research of my own, I just can’t find anything that’s remotely close to that. There’s no Golf School that we can apply for (like college golf or PGA training school for example). Even if there is, it’s probably reserved only for the better players. I might be wrong here so if you know better, would appreciate it if you could point me to where a high handicapper looking forward to be a pro can get started for real. The only other option is watching more Golf Channel, or going to the private training schools like the one that quoted my friend RM5,000 a month. Wow, that’s not gonna be easy to cough up.....

Another problem to highlight, suppose we barely made it to the pro level in Malaysia and start playing actively on all the local competitions, with the small cut of prize money offered in our local tournaments (excluding the really big events where we then have to compete against real world class “guai lo” golfers), can we even earn enough from golf tournaments to sustain our lifestyles and continue pursuing this dream of ours – assuming we’re doing this on a full time basis with no income from a job that is – I hate to say no but the reality is, a big no...

Well, enough ranting I guess, the conclusion is obvious, it’s really ‘near impossible’ for most of us hackers out there to go for this simple dream of ours. I said ‘near impossible’ coz there’s still a small part of me that lives on the Adidas tagline that “Impossible is Nothing” – naive and childish thinking, or positive thinking living up to the practices from the Law Of Attraction? Well, I’d go with the second one, everyone could use a little hope to guide us into bigger things in live don’t you agree?

I really wish there’s someone out there, or an organization out there who could really help turn us hackers into professionals without needing to charge us an arm and a leg to a point where it’s only possible for the rich to pursue, like Gavin who gets to play college golf overseas, or my distant niece of 7 years old with millionaire parents who doesn’t even need to work and travel all over the world with her to train up her golf game, yes, they start that young!

Meanwhile, I guess we’ll all just keep on hacking and keep exploring ways to achieve this little simple dream of ours... happy golfing my friends!



~~~~~END~~~~~
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okwoon
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Maybe you can next write and tell us how those Thai golfers like Thongchai and Thaworn managed to make it to the top and sustained themselves.

I am curious over what they have and we don't.
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Kuan Yew
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hi bro, that's an interesting question, when I ponder on that question, 2 things immediately came to mind:

- if i'm not mistaken, they have great and affordable golf academies that's easily accessible, the type that really can take you all the way from zero to asian tour level type, without taking an arm or a leg off you

- for those who kinda made it to become a much better golfer, there are tonnes of golf tournaments they can join all year round, where for the winners, the prize money is very handsome and it really makes a significant difference if you win at the top, and it's not too bad either if you at least manage to get into the prize cut rewards

In Malaysia, again, pls correct me again if I'm wrong but the last I heard about a training package that could take you to the pro level is costing RM5000 a month, scary, and on the money part in MY, unless it's one of the big 2 like CIMB Asia Pacific or the Maybank Malaysian open, most of the prize money for tournaments around the year is really small and I hear that many pro golfers in MY aren't able to make much from it.

I say this with a big pinch of salt of course as I'm not too familiar with all there is that MY golf has to offer, just sharing my opinions as another golf enthusiast who naively dreams that he could make it to pro someday haha Smile

But then again, if I could find the right places / people / opportunities to inch towards that dream, no matter how slightly that inch is, I'd take it! so please feel free to share your knowledge and thoughts on this, who knows, with all of our knowledge combined, maybe we can see some light for the many hopefuls out there like me Smile

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Slicer51
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Nice KY, writing from your personal experience, right ? Smile

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Kuan Yew
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thanks! yeah man!

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tqzen
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okwoon wrote:
Maybe you can next write and tell us how those Thai golfers like Thongchai and Thaworn managed to make it to the top and sustained themselves.

I am curious over what they have and we don't.


mr woon. good question. in fact they are producing many good golfers from there. makes me wonder how they do it.

my opinion, it can be done anywhere and not neccessary you need $$$. how much does an army personnel earn ? (thongchai was an ex para trooper right ?!). You must have following to be a success:
- Passion for the game and Hunger to do well and improve.
- Must have talent. Let's face it, not only you need to know the game, but you are skillful to adapt to conditions
- Supportive Environment. Affordable teaching classses/courses, encouragement to make a living in sports. The supportive environment should start when people are interested to get in, not when they are superstars or Malaysia Number 1.
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Kuan Yew
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hi bro tqzen,

yeah, totally agree with you, support should come when we're just starting out, not when we're already superstar and you suka suka come tumpang glamour, and I think if no organization is doing that, a manufacturer brand can actually come in and seize the opportunity, like TM golf academy / Nike golf academy / whatever golf brand academy, they can invest first and build stars of tomorrow, wouldn't that be great? Awesome I'd say!

Oh yes, sorry shameless plug, bro tqzen, saw in your signature you're considering cobra driver, so coincidentally i just posted an offer, let me know if you're interested Smile

http://www.mygolf.com.my/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=10119

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Alex Gan
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Bro,

I think it always boiled down to our on country direction. Sad to say that but one day I brought my son to a local public course but he was not allow to play because the course do not allow junior golfer. It was really sickening when my 7 yrs boy hold a valid hcp of 24.
Recently my boy play in US Kid tournament held in Glenmarie and I have the opportunity to mingle around with other parents from Thailand. By looking at their equipments, they are more advance then us and cheaper too. And they have golf course designated for juniors where else we can only bring our junior to limited course and selected time only.

So how can becoming golf pro easy in this country?
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KZG2001
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The Golf Man wrote:
hi bro, that's an interesting question, when I ponder on that question, 2 things immediately came to mind:

- if i'm not mistaken, they have great and affordable golf academies that's easily accessible, the type that really can take you all the way from zero to asian tour level type, without taking an arm or a leg off you

- for those who kinda made it to become a much better golfer, there are tonnes of golf tournaments they can join all year round, where for the winners, the prize money is very handsome and it really makes a significant difference if you win at the top, and it's not too bad either if you at least manage to get into the prize cut rewards

In Malaysia, again, pls correct me again if I'm wrong but the last I heard about a training package that could take you to the pro level is costing RM5000 a month, scary, and on the money part in MY, unless it's one of the big 2 like CIMB Asia Pacific or the Maybank Malaysian open, most of the prize money for tournaments around the year is really small and I hear that many pro golfers in MY aren't able to make much from it.

I say this with a big pinch of salt of course as I'm not too familiar with all there is that MY golf has to offer, just sharing my opinions as another golf enthusiast who naively dreams that he could make it to pro someday haha Smile

But then again, if I could find the right places / people / opportunities to inch towards that dream, no matter how slightly that inch is, I'd take it! so please feel free to share your knowledge and thoughts on this, who knows, with all of our knowledge combined, maybe we can see some light for the many hopefuls out there like me Smile


Your whole premise that malaysian's will never be PGA Tour calibre golfers due to the reasons you stated is completely flawed.

If you recall, Vijay Singh, honed his skills in East Malaysia, beating buckets of balls everyday. He didn't attend any academies, training packages. Neither was he born with a silver spoon.

Likewise M.Ramayah was Malaysia's top golfer for about a decade in the 90s, long before we heard of Tiger. I have seen Ramayah play and he was darn good. Like Vijay, Ramayah did not attend any academies or training packages. Neither was he born with a silver spoon.

Professional Golf or golf for that matter was an elite sport prior to Tiger Woods. There were no academies or schools for golf. No parent wanted their child to be a professional golfer.

In fact most of the Malaysian golfers were primarily caddies that had all the time to practice and graduate to professional golf.

Back to Ramayah and Vijay: The difference between these two is that one was comfortable with the winnings he got and was content being a local pro and the occasional events across asia. The other was a hardworking and determined chap that wanted to be the best in the world.

Thongchai Jaidee is a fine example of that in the current generation of golfers.

No amount of Academies and training schools will produce a world class golf, if he/she does not have the drive and ambition to be the best in the world.

Further proof of that is found in Squash and Badminton. Both Nicole and LCW were not product of academies in their younger days but their drive and ambition brought them to national reckoning and the world now.

In fact we have had established academies for both but do you really see any world beaters coming out of them?

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Kuan Yew
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Hi bro KZG,

Thanks for the feedback, while I partially agree with you on the success stories made by those stars you mentioned, I can't fully agree at the same time.

Vijay and Ramayah were back in so many years ago, things have changed so much. Plus, these 2 are probably the only 2 who made it really big who started in Malaysia, a population of 26/28 million, with about 250k golfers in the country.

With the younger generations like us, me for example (though me also not so young anymore hahaha), I find it really hard to allocate so much time and money for golf, there are always deadlines after deadlines at work, plus I just had a baby months ago which definitely adds up to the monthly budget allocation issue, not to mention saving up for a house and much more - all that really drains ppl up

What naturally happens to a lot of people is that they start giving up, playing less and eventually leave the game. Hopefully I won't get driven to that point but it's a big thing happening globally which is why there's a golf 2.0 initiative in the US geared towards getting golfers back on course and recruiting new members

Case in point, budgeting thousands a month for a truly proper training to take me all the way up to a pro level (plus the time commitment required) is a real barrier and there are always more crucial things to focus on like climbing the corporate ladder, getting higher salary, time with wife and kid, family time, bla bla bla, all of which are higher on the priority list.

You're probably right, perhaps the biggest barrier is ourselves, me in my case, but you can't argue that the barriers I and most of us have as per the above are all real and it really is not easy to so to speak, just go for your passion and just do it, coz we all already have bills to pay, it's not easy or financially sound to just 'go for your dreams' sometimes isn't it

Now if there's such a thing as a more proven and cost-friendly route to take, then it would be a much easier route to consider and maybe, just maybe, it's not THAT impossible to go for the dreams after all...

Anyone else having the same / similar golf pro dreams but find it 'nearly impossible' like me? Or am I the odd one out here? Smile

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okwoon
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While i can empathise with aspiring upstart golfers on their hardships faced, i must also say they should also realise that the grindmill is what their character-building needs. An empty stomach teaches you a million things.

Sacrifices are often necessarily to achieve one's ambitions. To do well in exam, one needs to spend time studying and forgo other urges like watching tv or hanging out with friends. I have seen students studying while helping out at their parents stalls. This pales in comparision to their classmates who may have the better luxury of studying at home or in an aircond room.

We often look to a role model to draw inspiration. In his early years, Vijay Singh took on odd jobs, like being a bouncer, to earn money to feed his family. He persevered against all odds to face the hardships of life then but remained determined to reach his goal. And he remained grateful to those friends who assisted him during his struggling days. He even borne no grudge against a country which refused his PR application. For he returned there to play and support their tournaments several times.

Setting priority is vital, i believe. I am also very sure that many successful golfers may have deferred marriage and raising a family. LCW is an example of badminton single-mindedness, maybe.

Of course, it's one's fortune to receive assistance. It surely helps in many ways. But one cannot just lament over the lack of it. Even if circumstances are such that you fail to realise your own dream, you can help others and thus realise your dream thru them. David Leadbetter may be famous as a coach to successful golfers. Tiger Wood foundation is also an assist organisation for youngsters.

So Mr Feature Writer, perhaps you may also next write on what and where to find local assistance without breaking an arm or leg. Perhaps, if there is a dearth, it is timely to embark on one then. Very Happy
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Kuan Yew
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hahaha bro okwoon, don't call me Mr Feature Writer la, call me KY will do

agreed on your points, in fact, you're absolutely spot on on the next topic to write about coz that was what I've planned on discovering and write more about, so it becomes a research project which I can gladly share with everyone here and at the same time, find the right one that I could possibly join and learn from to change from hacking to swinging it right

Please don't misunderstand my intentions in the article I wrote, it's not a baby's cry with no action to be taken to remedy the problem, that's why I call it the "near impossible" instead of "downright impossible"

near impossible simply means it's possible but it comes with much obstacles

the continuity to it is that if it's near impossible, but we still want it, what can we do about it? that's the quest i set myself to work on Smile

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okwoon
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The Golf Man wrote:
hahaha bro okwoon, don't call me Mr Feature Writer la, call me KY will do

agreed on your points, in fact, you're absolutely spot on on the next topic to write about coz that was what I've planned on discovering and write more about, so it becomes a research project which I can gladly share with everyone here and at the same time, find the right one that I could possibly join and learn from to change from hacking to swinging it right

Please don't misunderstand my intentions in the article I wrote, it's not a baby's cry with no action to be taken to remedy the problem, that's why I call it the "near impossible" instead of "downright impossible"

near impossible simply means it's possible but it comes with much obstacles

the continuity to it is that if it's near impossible, but we still want it, what can we do about it? that's the quest i set myself to work on Smile


Great!

It will certainly be a very noble quest and mission to be a catalyst to make it happen and such a set up come into being. For the love of golf and golfing. Very Happy
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miura
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well done golf man for being honest many people like you 'dream'of being pro and nothing wrong with that ...........however seems you are making too many excuses which if you believe in will stop you reaching your dream.
Great men dont make excuses but get on with the job in hand.It doesnt really matter about time money etc if you are good enough you will rise to the top no matter where you come from.
There are golfers who are from very poor backgrounds on tour and pros who have been to the best academies etc the golf ball dont care about who is hitting it.

Most malaysian pros dont make it because they are not good enough simple as that.

I think you need to walk along with a touring pro and see how good they really are and you will realise that is just a dream dude and impossible to make it.

Ive played with a few and they hit their drives 30-50 yards past me and hit 1 or 2 irons longer than me .so on a par 4 where im hitting driver 5 iron they are hitting driver wedge.

btw im way longer than most regular amateur golfers etc and very few can outdrive me etc

so ive come to be realistic and not dream like you but just enjoy the game.
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Kuan Yew
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Hi bro Miura, thanks to sharing your thoughts and your advice too, appreciate it.

Yes, walking the course with a pro would be excellent, not for me to see how impossible it is, but for me to see how they're doing it and hopefully learn a thing or two from them

Yes, as a 24 handicapper after 5 years of golf, I do know how difficult it is to play better golf, and hence how impossible it would seem to chase after the pro dream, but everything starts with a dream and probably this is one of the best times to quote:

"Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars"

In my case, to start with, lets see, first criteria to become a pro - you need to play better golf, duh!

I think making it to single digit handicap is already something I'd be extremely proud of, breaking 90, and then 80, lets make that a goal as a first step, make this happen before we even worry bout other obstacles and challenges, they'll come to play in time, lets focus on the first hurdle so to speak Smile

May take me years, even a lifetime perhaps hahhaha, but hey, it's a journey and when I'm old and wrinkly while sipping my single malt whiskey, I got one more series of stories to share about how I went out to pursue this little near impossible dream of mine, and how I enjoyed every step of it... I'm optimistic like dat Smile

Whoa I'm really grateful and happy that this is becoming an interesting discussion, thanks for reading and thanks for all the comments too! Cheers!

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The “Near Impossible” Dream of Becoming A Pro Golfer in MY
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