Professional golfers fault KGU directive on coaching of juniors

  • November 23, 2021
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The Professional Golfers Association of Kenya, PGAK, says the move by Kenya Golf Union, KGU, to enter into an exclusive agreement with US Kids Golf for training of children is unrealistic, discriminative and not good for the development of golf in the country.

Charan Tethy, PGAK Chairman says KGU cannot impose the US Kids Golf curriculum on coaches in Kenya since teaching professionals are already using the USPGA and Titleist Performance Institute, TPI, modules which are advanced and highly structured.

“Through our collaboration with the South Africa PGA, our members were taken through Level 2 training of the USPGA and TPI training in 2019. This is a structured and detailed programme which is specific to junior golfers up to the age of 22 years. Why should we discard it yet we are making plans to have the experts come to the country for Level 3 training next year?” Tethy wondered.

Charan Tethy

 KGU in partnership with The US Kids Golf Foundation commenced a countrywide rollout of a junior golf curriculum targeting to reach more than 2,000 children in the next three years. Under the partnership, US Kids Golf has provided a curriculum that will be used by local coaches accredited to Junior Golf Foundation, JGF, programmes.

The programme commenced two weeks ago with the certification of 48 local coaches after a three-day training. “We are really going to be firm on who and how training of junior golfers should be carried out in this country. It is now mandatory for all coaches handling children between age 5-18 years in the JGF programmes to follow the US Kids Golf curriculum,” warned Peter Kiguru, KGU Chairman, during the launch.

Apart from concerns about the coaching curriculum, PGAK has also faulted the decision by KGU to allow amateurs to coach junior golfers. Tethy says it’s unrealistic for an amateur golfer to qualify as a certified coach “just after three days of training”.

“We fully support all efforts to have structured training programmes in the country and we are happy to have amateurs trained as coaches. However, they should undergo three years of training before being licensed,” Tethy adviced.  

Peter Kiguru

He said that if KGU really means well for the development of junior golf in the country, the Union should have worked with PGAK for a successful roll out of the programme.  He said: “Sadly, the US Kids golf programme in Kenya is not being run by a professional golfer.  We have shared our concerns about this misstep and we will not allow our members to be excluded from coaching children. Let us not force the US Kids Golf curriculum on coaches. We are operating in a free market so let parents have the freedom to choose what’s best for their children.”

More than 40 local coaches were trained in Nairobi last month and are now part of the U.S. Kids Golf international network of certified coaches, a training that is recognized by both the PGA and LPGA. The training which brought together professional and amateur golfers was conducted by John Bryan, the Vice President of the U.S. Kids Golf Coaches Institute.

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