Tiger Woods and Guan Tianlang (Photo : Reuters)
China has steadily turned into an 'incubator of golf prodigies' geared towards becoming the next golfing superstar and perhaps the heir apparent to 14-time Grand Slam winner Tiger Woods.
In the latest article of New York Times writer Brook Larmer, he tackled about China's unexpected rise to golfing prominence and their comprehensive grassroots program that required toddlers to devote most of their youth for training.
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From this year's Masters sensation Guan Tianlang to 8-year old wunderkind Xie Chengfeng, these kids all had their first hit on the golf ball at the tender age of two to three years old. After that, they reserved a major chunk of their time for training and competing in golf tournaments to the point that even thier education is ompromised.
Zhang Xiaoning, the head of the China Golf Association, said the sport of golf is tailor-made for Chinese because it does not demand sheer athleticism, but instead it focuses more on the mental side and execution of technique.
The development of young crop of golf talents is only a part of the big picture for China Golf Association. In the next few years, the CGA plans to build a sophisticated national golf training center and stage tournaments for primary school students in an effort to further develop more golfing prodigies.
These would not be made possible without the help of corporations and other financers, who believe in the program and the future of the sport in China.
With just four players inside the top-300, China has a long way to go to be recognized as a powerhouse in golf. However, the future is as bright as the sun for this country. 10 to 15 years from now, if everything falls into place, it won't be surprising to see a plethora of Chinese golfers winning majors after another. It's all because the present shapes up the future.