Do what you love
November 17, 2017
VGM catches up with Mark Chambers and learns about his life as a PGA golf coach in Vietnam.
CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF?
I am 49-years-old and have been a PGA of Australia member now for 25 years. I have coached more than 5,000 people and had some of my students achieve national and international fame. In all my years in the game, I have never lost the passion for it and hope to continue for many more years.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK AS PGA GOLF COACH IN VIETNAM AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE?
Vietnam happened by chance, however I always wanted to work in Asia as I really enjoy the culture and the lifestyle. I played professional tournaments throughout Asia in the early 90s and always had a fascination for it. Now after being in Vietnam for four years, I see a longer future here doing what I love.
THERE ARE SOME LARGE GOLF ACADEMIES HERE, WHAT MAKES VIET UC SPECIAL?
Big academies are backed by big names and usually teach large numbers of people. Viet Uc is a boutique style academy and we place an emphasis on developing individuals and building relationships. Service is our number one priority and I hope that we continue to provide the highest quality tuition and advice to make our clients feel special.
WHAT ARE YOUR ACADEMY’S GOALS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR?
Next year I hope to get free junior camps going and give new golfers the opportunity to play. We need the support of the golfng community to make golf more accessible to these new players. In 2013, I volunteered my time to teach and promote the game in Sri Lanka and this year we had some of those kids play in the Vietnam Junior Open. If everyone involved in golf here works together, junior golf will be strong and this is the foundation for the future.
HOW MANY JUNIORS ATTEND YOUR CLASSES AND WHAT ARE THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
About 20 percent of my lessons are to junior golfers. From my experience, the young generation here is very respectful and willing to learn. I don’t know that I would state a weakness, however compared to where I am from juniors here are not as dedicated to the game. I believe that is because of their dedication to their studies not allowing the time that is required to reach an elite level.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL TRAINING PROGRAMMES FOR THEM?
I have been fortunate to teach several very talented young golfers. To name one is maybe unfair as they are not comparable. I have special development programmes and follow a three-stage development plan. Golf development is more than learning to swing. For me it involves physical, mental, tactical, planning and goal setting. Over the years, I have had great success with my students due to the long-term development relationship.
WITH YOUR SUPPORT, TAN NGUYEN CAN ACHIEVE A PGA AUSTRALIA CERTIFICATE. WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION TO DO THAT?
Giving Tan Nguyen the opportunity to become a mPGA member is about me giving something back to the game. I have known him since day one and he is the same dedicated, hardworking and determined young gentleman today. If anyone deserves an opportunity, he does. He understands that this is the beginning and he will have to earn his PGA membership over three years as it is not given. If he has a successful year in 2018, then I may be allowed the opportunity to give another young Vietnamese golfer the chance. Tan Nguyen is in the worldwide pilot programme.
MARK WILLIAM CHAMBERS
– 11-time winner in Australia on Pro-Am circuits
– Coached Eagle Chang to the 2005 Australian Junior Championship beating Jason Day in a playoff
– Sri Lankan National Coach
– Fishing and spending time with my children
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – COLIN POWELL