Many an athlete dreams of becoming a champion in their chosen sport, but to make it into the professional golf ranks is one of the toughest roads to take.
That road was just made a lot easier for budding Malaysian talents, as on Feb 1, 2019, the SD Golf Academy was officially opened at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Golf and Country Club (SAASGCC) in Shah Alam.
SD Golf Academy was formed with the vision of providing a training facility not only for grooming and developing talent of aspiring young local professionals, but also to assist them with financial support to enable them to dream bigger, and hopefully earn their place on professional golf tours.
Funded by a golf enthusiast, Sheikh Darabi, the academy was the brainchild of veteran touring pro, Shaifubari Muda, who is the academy’s CEO.
What makes SD Golf Academy unique as a golf academy is the fact that its main purpose is to help finance upcoming Malaysian professionals to pursue their goals and dreams.
One of its main objectives is to introduce this game to schoolchildren by organising group coaching sessions. These sessions will help identify potential at grassroots level and create affordable programmes to nurture them.
SD Golf Academy will subsidise the coaching fees for the group sessions and when a player with potential is identified, based on pre-set criteria, the academy will represent the talent, seek sponsorship based on the individuals needs and set career targets.
Apart from Shaifubari, some of Malaysia’s finest homegrown professionals are on the academy’s list of Touring Professionals. Among them are Mohd Sukree Othman, Shahriffuddin Ariffin (Dino) and young talent, Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz.
These touring pros are the pioneers who will drive SD Golf Academy, all the while pursuing their careers as golf professionals.
“After many months of discussion and planning, the whole team is very happy that this dream is finally happening. This is just the first big step to a long-term vision of having an academy started by Malaysian professional golfers for Malaysians,” explained Sheikh.
“The professionals were specially selected and we know their knowledge, experience and credibility since they were national juniors will be a great asset in the long run.”
Shaifubari has been a professional since 1996 and he has represented Malaysia in the Omega Tour and Asian Tour circuit from 1998 to 2002. He now plays on the Professional Golf of Malaysia Tour.
“This is a dream come true for me. As a professional, it is not easy to challenge any championship title without financial assistance. It’s great to have known Sheikh for a long time and his belief in the objectives and vision of the academy is a much needed boost for the development of Malaysian golf,” said Shaifubari.
“Sheikh’s financial assistance and ambitions will help spur SD Golf Academy’s ambitions to assist young and up-and-coming Malaysians to make it into the professional ranks.”
While assisting aspiring young professionals is the core of SD Golf Academy’s vision, golf lessons for amateurs are available at the academy’s centre, located at the driving range complex of SAASGCC.
Experienced coaches will be on hand to teach the basic fundamentals of the game, the golf swing, golf rules and etiquette of the sport.
The academy is open daily from 9am-6pm. For enquiries, call Razlan Alias at 019-6993917.