Date: January 07, 2013
Author: Credited from Canberra Times, author Jon Tuxworth

Mentoring from ALPG Players for the Next Generation of Golfers

(excerpt from Canberra Times dated January 6, 2013. Author Jon Tuxworth) VETERAN Australian golfers Lindsey Wright and Karen Lunn believe young players need to be mentored by former stars as Karrie Webb continues to fight a lone battle in the world rankings. Lunn admitted it is a concern the country&aposs next generation has struggled to consistently challenge the world&aposs best players, and take pressure off the seven-time major champion. World No. 17 Webb, one of the major drawcards for next month&aposs Australian Open at Royal Canberra, is the only Australian currently ranked in the top 50. Just two of her compatriots, Katherine Hull (No. 67) and Wright (No. 81) are ranked in the top 100, and 1993 British Open winner Lunn said youngsters would learn plenty from the experiences of former players. &apos&aposShani Waugh is mentoring the players coming through the amateur ranks, which is a great move, but it&aposs the transition from amateur to professional ranks which is the tough bit,&apos&apos Lunn said. &apos&aposGolf Australia have a program where they sponsor a few girls a year and they get a fair whack of cash to push them in the right direction, which is great, but it&aposs not just throwing money at people which is the answer, it&aposs giving them the right tools and skills to be the best they can. &apos&aposApart from Shani it&aposs basically all men that&aposs involved in coaching. I think they need to get more ex-players involved, and when I&aposve finished playing I&aposd love to be involved at some level. &apos&aposI&aposm sure all these guys are fantastic golf coaches but women are different to men, our brains work differently and we function differently. &apos&aposThat&aposs probably one boat they&aposre missing out on. They need to get ex-players involved. How can you tell someone how to prepare for a golf tournament when they&aposve never played in one?&apos&apos Wright, who suffers from clinical depression, still gets homesick and said handling the constant travelling is a major factor for young Australians. &apos&aposThe younger kids now, maybe we can start a mentoring program where they can utilise us,&apos&apos Wright said. &apos&aposDon&apost get me wrong, technical coaches are great and they&aposre needed, but they haven&apost stood over a five-foot putt for $5000, which will give them money for their plane ticket for the next tournament. &apos&aposThey don&apost really understand the pressure and nerves, and you&aposre only going to get that from players who have been there and done that.&apos&apos She said they can find the prospect daunting of competing with the Asian contingent dominating the women&aposs game. &apos&aposOne thing the Asian culture has proven is they work bloody hard, they work a lot harder than most of the younger [Australian] players, that&aposs for sure,&apos&apos she said. &apos&aposIt&aposs even harder today for the young girls because you&aposve got these Korean girls with more money, and they&aposve got an entourage doing everything for them. &apos&aposIf you dig deep and suck it up, the reward is pretty awesome.&apos&apos Lunn highlighted Victorian Stacey Keating as the player most capable of claiming Webb&aposs mantle. The 26-year-old world No. 120 won twice on the European Tour this year, and Lunn said she has the skill set and mental strength to go to the next level. ALPG addition: ALPG&aposs Next Generation Club is a mentoring program from ALPG players for the next generation of professionals (currently amateurs) by providing best educated advice about the process of transition from amateur to professional life. Article link (credit) .