NGAP’s grassroots program starts

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Lipa City -- More than 60 young golfers showed up last Saturday to form the first batch of beneficiaries of the National Golf Association of the Philippines’ grassroots program.


At least a hundred more have signed up for another session in Bacolod City next month, as the NGAP, in partnership with the Royal & Ancient of Scotland, kicked off the program whose aim is to bring more youngsters to play the game and ultimately discover future international stars.

“We want to start them young, and we want even the less-privileged to be able to avail the privilege of being handled by the best coaches in the land,” Gigi Montinola, the former top bank executive and NGAP director of grassroots development, said.

The first part of the program kicked off last Saturday at Mount Malarayat with former world junior champions Carito Villaroman and Ramon Brobio and Philippine Team standout Boyet Zaragosa as coaches.

Kids 13 and below coming from cross sections of the society are the targets of the program, which got a boost from the R&A early this year which donated 20,000 pounds (about P14 million).

Montinola then matched the R&A contribution with his own money and is also personally supervising the progress of the kids together with NGAP vice-president Caloy Coscoluella.

“This should have been done years ago,” NGAP president Tommy Manotoc said. “And with the R&A and Mr. Montinola coming in, we now have the resources to make up for lost time. These kids are the future of Philippine golf.”

Under the program, the coaches will initially teach the kids the basics of the game before gradually turning them into elite players depending on the rates of their progress.

Local coaches have also been tapped to assist Villaroman, Brobio and Zaragosa and the trio will monitor the development of the kids on a consistent basis. Manila Bulletin

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