Image: Waqiuddin Rajak

Brunei has a lot of talented golfers, many of whom have the potential to turn pro. Yet the idea of making a career out of it, much like any other sport in the country, is often set aside for more stable pursuits.

Brunei, said organizers of the Richard Mille Brunei Championship (RMBC), can leverage on the attention the upcoming golf tournament will bring – and hopefully take advantage of the opportunities it poses to development of the sport.

RMBC’s deputy chairperson Shabul Mashor Hj Junaidi and Brunei Darussalam Golf Association’s (BDGA’s) Vice President Seruji Hj Setia told The Bruneian that the event should at least highlight what Golf has to offer in terms of national sports development.

Image: Waqiuddin Rajak

Current situation shows that only a handful of local golf enthusiasts have pursued the sport at a professional level. Due to a lack of financial and technical resources Brunei’s pool of talented golfers mostly remain at the amateur level.

Internationally, amateur golfers are only allowed to play for experience and challenges – while professional players are allowed to compete in tournaments that offer monetary prizes.

Failure to adhere to this distinction could cost golfers to be stripped off their amateur or professional status.

While Brunei is not lacking in terms of training facilities, both Shabul Mashor and Seruji stressed that golfers may have to commit to spending a certain amount of money for proper training and practice sessions.

It is understood that not everyone is capable of meeting those requirements, said Shabul Mashor and Seruji, however that should not stop them advised the two.

Amateur golfers, if interested, should fine tune their skills while building up their financial means if they are determined to pursue a professional career in golf.

Building up financial capabilities however, said Shabul Mashor, does not necessarily mean a person needs to have their own money to spend.

“If they keep on playing at an amateur level, they will definitely attract attention from certain groups of people.  So if they know you are good, then they might offer you a sponsorship to turn pro,” he said.

“But you should also try to look for your own sponsors, if you are determined enough, then they might endorse you and help with your development,” he added.

Tournaments like the RMBC, he said, are important because it allows local talents to showcase their skills – and they may even be scouted by certain parties and associations.

“If some players are able to “make the cut” – at least to be within the top 60 of the championship, then Brunei would have more reasons to tap into golf as one of Brunei’s main sporting scene,” said Shabul Mashor.

Image: Waqiuddin Rajak

Both Shabul Mashor and Seruji were speaking on the sidelines of a sponsorship signing ceremony held at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.  Main sponsors include Richard Mille, Brunei Heidelberg Cement and Royal Brunei Airlines.

Present to witness the signing was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hjh Norlila Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil.\



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