Four budding Singapore junior golfers had an afternoon to remember when they received a Masterclass Golf Clinic from Dubai-based 40-year-old Shiv Kapur on the sidelines of the International Series Singapore at Tanah Merah Country Club.
On the day the Asian Tour underlined its commitment to the development of golf with a donation of $25,000 towards the Singapore Golf Association’s Junior Development Programme, Kapur took time out of his day to hit the driving range with the kids for a fun and informative clinic in which he offered a range of invaluable tips to improve their game.
The two girls and two boys from the SGA, aged just 10 and 11 and with handicaps already ranging from 18 to just five, had a lot of fun as they picked up some sound advice from Shiv; a four-time Asian Tour tournament winner as well as winner of the 2013 Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final at Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai, on the importance of pre-shot routines, maintaining focus, shaping ball flight, practice and much more.
Kapur came away from the lesson impressed by the standard of golf he had seen from the next generation in Singapore.
He said, “It has been great. When I was 12, I didn’t know half the stuff these kids already know. They have very level heads on their shoulders, and they already know what they want. I asked some tough questions, and I got some pretty mature answers. They already have an understanding of course management and their strengths. They are miles ahead of me when I was that age – I just knew how to swing a club!”
Shiv believes there will be an even greater pick-up among children as the Asian Tour and International Series thrives, and he predicts a bright future for the country in golf. “Singapore has some wonderful facilities, the kids get some great exposure to golf here and that is showing - each year in the field we see more and more Singaporean players contesting and it is great to see. As a child I watched the Asian Tour and it was my dream to be inside the ropes one day. Today when you watch TV, kids can dream of being on the tour and I don’t think it is limited to Asia anymore. When I talk to parents and kids all over the world, they all feel the Asian Tour is where it is at. We are seeing a lot of children wanting to take up golf and it was the fastest growing sport in the pandemic - here’s hoping that continues.”
The International Series is having an even wider impact, according to Kapur, who has teed it up in Thailand, England and Singapore already and will be in a star-studded field battling it out for International Series Korea glory on Jeju Island next week.
He said. “The Series has been fantastic, the treatment we receive as players is world class. I have played world tours all over and on the International Series, you feel you are playing big events each week. The prize money is good, comparable to the European Tour and other tours around the world. I only wish it had come earlier in my career! The Asian tour used to be seen as a pathway to other tours but with the International Series it has become a destination rather than a pathway, and you will see a lot of Asian stars coming out of it.”
The International Series moves from Singapore to Lotte SkyHill Country Club Jeju on Jeju Island in Korea from August 18-21, with the players battling it out for a $1.5m purse for a second successive week.