Golf Saudi this week saw the roll out of the innovative ‘Starting New At Golf’ certification programme in Riyadh.
Better known as SNAG, the programme includes all the basics of golf, helping to teach beginners and build-up their skills. SNAG has become popular globally, due to the fact that it can be played both indoors and outdoors, ensuring anyone can learn, anyone can play, and anyone can teach golf.
Taking place this week at Riyadh Golf Courses, the level one and level two certification programmes were delivered to 28 people on February 10-11, with all 28 participants being fully certified. As the concluding part of the certification process, all certified SNAG coaches delivered sessions to school children at the Tadrees’ Dar Al Baraah National School in Riyadh.
Majed Al Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said: “We have identified SNAG as the key platform for the early stages of Golf Saudi’s ‘Get into Golf’ schools programme, which focuses on introducing golf at grass roots level, to non-golfing Saudi Arabian children.
“Mass Participation forms one of Golf Saudi’s key pillars, with the aim of introducing, educating and entertaining citizens about golf, particularly young people. Our view is that when children play a sport, if they have fun, it is far more likely that they are going to come back, pursue it and potentially become future golfers.”
SNAG is the brainchild of former PGA Tour professional Terry Anton and the programme ensures golf is easy to learn, thanks to its colourful, portable and easy to use equipment, as well as having the game’s rules explained in a simple fashion. Once the programme has become a proven learning and training system and begins to grow, Golf Saudi will then scale it.
To oversee its development, a number of attendees from Golf Saudi were present during the three days, including Steven Troup, Director of Instruction; Bouchaib Al Jadiani, Head of Mass Participation; Theo Potgieter, Golf Operations Manager; Rawan Al Salim, Programme Manager; and Razan Al Hussain, Communications Officer. There were also four PE teachers from the Tadrees’ Dar Al Baraah National School and another 19 attendees from local golf clubs in Riyadh, including Riyadh Greens, Nofa Resorts, Intercontinental and Dirab Golf Club. Zouhaier Jebri, the PGA Professional from Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, was also in attendance.
Trainer Jordan Lawrence, who delivered this week’s sessions, is extremely well experienced with SNAG programmes in inner city communities and school groups, and was impressed by what he saw during the three days. He said: “I am very pleased how this week’s upbeat SNAG sessions went and how well they were received by both the teachers and school children. This programme is the first step in transitioning non-golfers to the golf course in a fun, safe and engaging way. This week has demonstrated that SNAG is the perfect starting place for any child on their future journey to becoming a golfer.”