As part of efforts to develop golf from grassroots level and restore fading glory in the country, Zimbabwe Golf Association (ZGA) has gone back to basics to equip golf trainers with professional knowledge at a workshop to be held in Harare next week.
Dubbed: “Train the trainer 2019”, the programme, meant to school existing and passionate golf trainers with professional requirements, will be held in Harare from June 10 at Chapman Golf Club.
Provincial unions are expected to put forward three names each to participate in the programme where experts are expected to speak to them.
“This programme is expected to be held in Harare from June 10 to the 15th at Chapman Golf Club. All participants are expected to report in Harare on Sunday June 9 and will be shuttled to accommodation to be announced. From the six golfing Provincial Unions, we are expecting them to forward three names each to participate,” ZGA golf development officer, Boniface Chigorimbo said.
“The programme will start on Monday at Chapman at 07.00am with breakfast and end at 1700hours every day except on Friday when graduation will take place. The ZGA will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner at set values. Drinks and extras will be the responsibility of the candidate.”
The ZGA has been under fire following the national squad dismal performance at a recently held Africa Region 5 Golf Championships in Namibia where they fell to 5th position.
National squad players Tafara Mpofu, Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa, Graeme Lewis and Bradley Kulaisi, were primed to shine at the event but their 5th-placed position marked Zimbabwe’s worst performance in 20 years at international level.
Their defeat, however, opened a can of worms to the standard and level of development of the sport.
Like all sectors of business, golf has had opportunity, as part of the modern sustainability movement, to strengthen its image, influence and profitability but the sector in Zimbabwe has been lagging behind.
Religious golf followers suggested that there is need for an interrogation on the local junior development policies and programmes, engagement of good coaches, managers, and mentors for the youngsters.
To date, there is no golf academy in the country and it is just parents and coaches pushing children and doing the best that they can.
The majority of golf fraternity blamed the current ZGA committee of not uplifting the game of golf for Zimbabwe to be where it was a few years back.
“In about 2015, junior golf association got a new committee and they changed how they operated. Sadly, some players are dropped as development players and suddenly parents are left on their own. Up until that time they didn’t charge entry fees for junior coaching clinics and junior tournaments.
“Roger Baylis, Themba Sibanda and the Zimbabwe golfers have also helped tremendously and made some trips possible for juniors. Through the strong golf that we had, our juniors were also able to go to the Junior World Cup, four years in a row,” he said.
“It has since been noted how a lot of juniors are not being encouraged despite playing promising golf. The current committee does not really do much and there are complains of one committee member dominating events,” said the golfer, who preferred anonymity.
“The current junior golf committee really doesn’t do much and is just a group of parents looking out for their own children. They don’t like parents who do not agree with their agenda. This kind of thing is commonplace within junior golf association and we can’t expect to raise future champions this way,” he said.
Other interrogated subjects after the poor performance included Roger Baylis, who has been doubling as the national coach at both junior and senior level for many years and reality has it that he is aging and there’s need for young blood.
Chigorimbo, said while a lot still requires redress, they believe such programmes will help grassroots golf development from their six participating provinces.
“This is for candidates who will be contracted by the provinces to train other trainers in the province in order to develop golf further and enhance numbers. The trainers will be expected to plan and execute provincial golf developmental programmes while reporting to the (respective provincial union) and the National Golf Development officer for correlation of reports.
Chigorimbo, who is a food scientist by profession revealed the minimum entry qualifications for these candidates are:
“Three O-Level results or equivalent with English, proven golf experience having attained handicap of 10 or less at one stage or better. Candidates must be able to plan and execute programmes, must have coached all age groups. They must have good man management skills, communication skills and computer literate and able to write reports. Having a tertiary or college qualifications are an added advantage for aspiring candidates,” he said.