Friday, August 19, 2011

Bali Junior Golf Championship Cup

Mountains, Lakes, Kids & Golf

Bali August 19th 2011 - Before the Bali Junior Golf Community (BJGC) was first founded in late 2010, I asked why are there so few children playing golf in Bali? Depending on who I spoke to I would receive a different range of answers: not many kids like to play, too expensive, too hot for the children ; so after loitering at the some of the courses here in Bali ( which I would most likely be arrested for doing this in a developed country) I began to approach some adult golfers whom I knew had children, the coaches, the kids themselves and found that there in fact there were some children who played.
I think I totaled about 12 names after the first week. Having two children myself I know what a great social network and grapevine they have so I asked my husband Agoes for his support and started to think if we could put some well run tournaments/programs together the kids would find us and the word would spread.

At the time PGI in Bali had no program or structure in place for the kids that I was aware of and it seemed like it was the same four or five juniors I would see at the course or at the driving range.
It was very difficult to get any information from PGI Headquaters Jakarta, whose website leaves a lot to be desired and who obviously are struggling with their own issues. Calls never returned, emails not answered so I knew I was on my own.
Luckily for me my husband had some good contacts as and so we launched the Bali Junior Golf Community Tournament 5 Series & Championship Cup with support from his old school friend Eddy Panca who also was on the PGI Bali Board and Yuda Putra.

Owning an IT company came in really handy so Agoes set up the website, Facebook site as well as the other online systems which we would require to help us run the membership database and tournaments.

As far as I knew about the junior golf in Bali really had no history and the 5 courses on the island had never worked together to grow and support the juniors as one. So I went knocking on the doors of the General Managers of all five courses- Was it easy? - no - Did I get their co-operation? - you bet! Did I ever feel like giving up? - you bet! Did I give up? - never! Did I have the support of the parents - you bet I did! I networked away calling on my clients, peers, friends and family and other parents who had kids who played golf - some who thought I had gone crazy - let you in on a little secret here I DONT PLAY GOLF!

BJGC's aim was to grow the number of children taking up golf in Bali and to promote sound honest play and good judgment based on international tournament standards for juniors. We wanted to provide a positive experience for all concerned and to allow our juniors to grow as a player and a person and of course to have a fun. Did we succeed – You make up your own mind up…..just read on.

Fast forward to August 2011 and Bali Junior Golf's 5th Series is to be held at Bali Handara Koisaido Country Club. We had our biggest field of players - 50 juniors that would be starting - now remember those early numbers of juniors just over a year ago 4, 5,12.
Many juniors and their parents drove up the hill from the south and stayed the weekend. Practice day there was a TaylorMade demo organized by the Energizer Bunny a.k.a. Mr Mark Isley the new General Manager of Bali Handara Kosiado Country Club (BHKCC).
One of the junior parents and recreational golfer Benny Raj who runs Bali Catering Company organized the amazing BBQ & Bonfire for Saturday night, where the junior golf community came together like never before – remember it’s all about the kids and supporting them. Mark and his great team ran the Putting and Chipping competition. Prizes were donated by Golf House, BHKCC and Ruci Golf. The guys that run Ruci Sport & Golf who are aged in their twenties are great ambassadors for junior golfers as well as good role models. Unfortunately - some of the better junior golfers who are on the national team were no-where to be seen!

Sunday morning - tournament day, juniors turned up collected their player badges just as the fog was rolling up the 18th fairway which was a stunning site, they were briefed by Mr Eddy Panca our Rules Official and off they went to face tee placements and pins positions which would prove a challenge during the day. Once again the field's pace of play was great and the juniors did not hold up any of the regular members and guests who were out there playing. Fifty juniors out there playing golf on a spectacular course showing good sportsmanship and discipline and most importantly having fun.

Another successful day - you bet! We now have 77 juniors on our database – so we hope PGI will now take note. These juniors do not expect goodie bags and lucky door prizes they just want to play golf and have fun in a safe and nurturing environment with a people who care.

The 2011 Championship Cup will be held back at New Kuta Golf on Sunday 25th September where we will crown our inaugural Boys Champion (A & B) , Girls Champion (A & B) and Mixed Champion (C & D) as well as player of the series.

Click here to see the winners and their scores.
Click here to see all the photos on Facebook

Bali Junior Golf Community |

writer is Melina Caruso - Bali Junior Golf Community

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