Sri Lanka Golf on the rise with young people in the foreground | Print output

by | Oct 24, 2021 | Golf Clubs

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Taniya Balasuriya (L), SLGU national coach Pradeep Kumara (C) and Chanaka Perera (R) during the ongoing exercises at Victoriya G&CR in Digana

The Sri Lanka Golf Union (SLGU) has made elaborate plans to put in place a comprehensive schedule over the coming months to improve the golf standard in Sri Lanka. COVID-19 has left the proposed programs behind. Together with the Ministry of Sports, the National Olympic Committee and the health authorities, the SLGU has made plans to bring the postponed tournaments forward in the coming months.

Up-and-coming stars and youngsters MU Chanaka Perera and Taniya Balasuriya have been selected to represent Sri Lanka at the upcoming events in the Middle East.

The Sri Lanka Golf Union will be sending two players to compete in the upcoming Asia-Pacific golf tournaments for men and women in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, respectively. The men’s tournament will take place from November 7th to 14th in Dubai, the women’s tournament from November 15th to 21st in Abu Dhabi.

MU Chanaka Perera will tee off in the men, while Taniya Balasuriya will start in the women. Both golfers were invited based on their World Amateur Handicap Ranking. Young Vinod Weerasinghe, also a rising star, was invited to the men’s category but will not make it to Dubai due to unforeseen circumstances.

The SLGU has defined various cadres who are to be subjected to a strenuous training plan in the coming months. In addition to physical fitness training, the national, development and junior squads are also trained on the pitch under supervision.

“There are plans to get both men and women in tip-top shape by the middle of next year to show a strong performance at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. The Asian Games 2022 will take place in November, when golf becomes a sport. The SLGU will register four male and four female golfers to take part in the individual and team events, ”said Michael Perera Magala, President of the SLGU.

“There are plans to hold Sri Lanka’s ranked tournaments in November and December and conclude the prestigious 132 Sri Lanka Amateur Championships and Sri Lanka Open in January 2022. We are in the process of converting to a uniform and globally accepted world handicapping system for all golfers with the support of all golf clubs in Sri Lanka. This will be beneficial for all golfers in Sri Lanka, ”said Ranil Peiris, Vice President of SLGU.

The lack of golf courses has been a setback for young golfers to take up the game, although Sri Lankans are gifted with high hand-eye coordination. Under the direction of the Royal Colombo Golf Club and actively supported by Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, Victoria Golf Club-Digana, Eagles Golf Club-Trincomalee and Shangri-La Golf Club-Hambantota, they have all in their ready service for the Golf Union of Enlargement their facilities to improve golf in Sri Lanka. Women’s golf is on the up and many young players are competently supported by Ms. Anouk Chitty. We intend to show a strong performance in the upcoming Asian Games, ”he added.

Junior golf is an area that has been taking center stage and Niloo Jayetileke is committed to bringing many new talented players to the game.

“Royal and Ancient in Scotland have a funding program that has proven useful in this area. Five junior tournaments are held each year and there are plans to team up with an Indian golf group to expand this program to reach greater heights, ”said Jayetileke.

The first plans are being made and the Ministry of Sports has been asked to build a golf course for the SLGU, which is an urgent need.