It was encouraging that the Singapore team, with a relatively new slate of players, finished third in the recent Putra Cup in Myanmar.
Much credit for that goes to the three part-time coaches, Scott Barr, Justin Han and Goh Kun Yang who, despite their fulltime jobs, devoted time and effort to raise the standard of Singapore’s leading amateurs.
Considering the added time and effort the Singapore Golf Association would like to focus in their High-Performance Program, it has hired renowned Australian coach Matt Ballard, as Full-Time National Coach, to continue driving national and junior golf development.
The SGA is currently in the development process of nurturing new talent and grooming young golfers. Believing that Ballard, with his vast experience, can help in its High-Performance Programme by taking over a fresh team of golfers from the National, Development and Junior squads.
Ballard, 41, comes with a high reputation, having worked for numerous years with Tour players like Adam Scott, Michael Sim, Adam Bland and Sam Brazel.
He was also one of the coaches for Golf Queensland’s High Performance Programme and coached at the Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club in the Gold Coast.
Having been involved with the development and execution of training programs for juniors, elite amateurs and professionals, Ballard looks a perfect fit for the SGA’s plans.
A former player himself, he was a past captain of the Queensland State amateur golf team and member of the Australian National Squad. He had also played on the Australasia and Japan Tours as a professional.
Ballard: “I saw the youngsters at one tournament, and I was impressed. I believe I can work with the various squads and hopefully things work out fine during my stint here.”
“Our selection committee sieved through over 50 applicants from Singapore and all over the world. We spent days conducting Live and Skype interviews with the shortlisted candidates. We also have had the two final candidates flown in to Singapore as part of the final interview process. We are confident that Matt will work with our players’ individual coaches and together, develop our talented golfers in Singapore. I am convinced that with Matt’s coaching background and personality, he will be a great asset for SGA and our golfers” Said SGA Vice-President and Chairperson Training and Development committee Lyn Sen.
SGA General Manager Jerome Ng added: “Further development of the High-Performance training programme is still the most important task. One of Matt’s main tasks will be the realisation of existing strategic plans for the period leading into SEA Games and to nurture young talent.
“At the same time, to implement an effective training and preparation programme that would best facilitate our experienced and young golfers alike.
Following the successful conclusion of the SMBC Singapore Open last week, local professional also former National Squad member Johnson Poh and National amateur golfer James Leow finished tied 38th and 69th respectively. It is an exciting time ahead as the SGA forges their long-term plans to grow the sport and develop Singapore into a leading golfing nation in South-East Asia.