ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

SGA Drive for Excellence Gains Traction

Joshua Ho (far left) with SGA Honorary Treasurer Eddie Chua (second left), GS Sareen (second right) and Omni United Marketing Manager Manav Suri (far right).

Singapore: Radar Tyres, the flagship brand of Singapore-based tyre company Omni United, has signed a multi-year contract as an Official Partner of the Singapore Golf Association (SGA).

Under the partnership, individuals who have represented Singapore at an elite amateur level and recently turned professional, will receive financial support for their training and competition-related expenses as they embark on the early stages of their professional careers.

“We are delighted to welcome Omni United and Radar Tyres as the newest partner of the SGA,” said Tan Chong Huat, President of the SGA, an Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“They share our vision and commitment of developing our national golfers into world-class athletes. Their support will be integral towards the success of our high-performance programmes,” added Tan.

The partnership with the SGA is part of Omni United’s commitment towards developing golfing excellence in Singapore.

“We are thrilled to announce Radar Tyres’ multi-year partnership with the SGA. At Omni United, it has been our endeavour to contribute to the countries where we operate, and we have done this whenever we have seen an opportunity. Singapore is where it all started for us, so it’s only natural for us to support the local community,” said GS Sareen, President and CEO, Omni United.

He added: “We have seen that once the professionals reach a certain level, they can support themselves. The amateurs have reasonable support from the system … but when they turn professional and pursue their dreams to make a career in the sport, they require financial support the most. 

“This is what we aim to accomplish with this partnership. We don’t want any local talent to be left behind for the want of financial support.”

Joshua Ho, General Manager of the SGA, said: “We are excited to embark on this collaboration with Omni United and Radar Tyres to develop elite golf by providing the necessary support to the professional golfers in the SGA Professional Programme.

“The SGA remains committed to enhancing this programme and this partnership with Omni United will be a boost as the professionals strive to achieve success internationally.”

The SGA’s professional programme was introduced in 2018. Players will receive management support for at least two years. This includes sports psychology sessions, access to golf training facilities and mentorship programmes.

James Leow, who enjoyed a distinguished amateur career before turning professional in 2022, was a beneficiary of the programme and believes it plays an important role in the development of their careers.

“The SGA is crucial for all players coming through the national team programme and wanting to transition into professional golf. I went through that myself and being a part of the SGA professional programme has helped me in my career.

“The support and opportunity I received enabled me to further develop myself and eased my transition into professional golf,” said Leow, whose amateur career highlights included winning the individual gold medal at the 2019 Southeast Asia (SEA) Games in the Philippines.

“I have access to the national coach whenever I’m in need for help to work on certain parts of my game as well as practice games with fellow professionals or national team players at other golf clubs to stay competitive.

“Another benefit is the financial support for any qualifying schools, qualifiers or entry fees for events, which goes a long way for professional golfers like myself.

“Being able to receive opportunities to compete in any major Singapore professional events like the Singapore Open or International Series Singapore through invite is a boost to our competing schedule,” added Leow, who won the Thunderbird Collegiate and Pacific Coast Amateur titles in the United States in 2022 and also represented the Team International side that beat the United States at the Palmer Cup.

Veteran professional Koh Sock Hwee, another recipient of the programme, acknowledges the strong support system the professional programme provides and believes it will continue to help her and her fellow professionals in their careers.

Koh Sock Hwee.

“There is often a big unspoken transition from amateur to professional golf. Everything from planning to logistics to organising and competing takes up a lot of time and energy when you first turn professional because everything is unfamiliar for the first time.

“With this programme, apart from helping to alleviate some financial burden, it also brings all the professionals in the programme together where we can discuss and share training ideas and avenues where we may be able to support each other in any way possible,” said the 34-year-old, who won two bronze medals at the 2015 SEA Games.

Aloysa Atienza, who became the first Singaporean woman in more than 30 years to clinch an individual silver medal at the SEA Games (Hanoi 2022) and is planning to join the play-for-pay ranks in 2025, was delighted to learn of Radar Tyres support for the programme.

“There will definitely be many unknowns, especially during this transitional stage to our professional careers. With this partnership, I’m given the assurance that I’ll have access to financial support and support system.

“This means that I’ll be able to worry less off the course and focus more on improving to make my mark in the professional circuit,” said the 2023 SGA Female Golfer of the Year.

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