Making VPGA a winner
September 7, 2017
Now that the VPGA is set to become a reality, Lars Holden looks at what is needed to get it on its feet to thrive.
IS IT THE RIGHT TIME TO LAUNCH THE VPGA?
It is always difficult to determine what the right time is. It could easily be argued that it is a bit early. I would also like to see continued effort put into other aspects of golf in Vietnam so we have a stronger Amateur and junior golf scene in Vietnam prior to a Professional Golfers Association. After 10 years we still have no nationwide handicap system and to me, this is more important for the majority of golfers in the country. It is a strong junior and amateur golf community that will feed and develop a strong Professional Golfers Association.
However, I am happy to see opportunities being presented for Vietnamese golfers in the country. Many of the Professionals do not have tournament playing opportunities so this development can only increase their skill levels and help develop the game.
ARE THERE THE CONDITIONS TO PROCEED WITH THE SYSTEM?
It is essential that the VPGA follows international standards to ensure credibility. Furthermore, the VPGA must remain 100% transparent to ensure it is a professional organization with a healthy future.
HOW SHOULD THE VPGA BE ORGANIZED?
From the very start, the VPGA must make clear all aspects to govern who is professional and who can receive money from tournaments. Currently, Vietnam only has two players involved in the game on a truly professional level. Pham Minh Duc is a full member of the Professional Golfers Association of Australia and Tran Le Duy Nhat is a touring professional who plays tournaments for a living. The rest of the players who will participate have little to no formal qualifications and need to understand that joining VPGA events and receiving money from them, will remove them from amateur golf completely.
WHO SHOULD MANAGE THE VPGA TOUR?
For the VPGA to be treated as a serious professional association, a committee should be formed that includes a cross-section of experienced people. This should include the Ministry of Sport, VGA, a patron who could be a leader in the business industry, an expat golf professional who has worked in Vietnam for multiple years and representative of Vietnamese players who intend to join the VPGA as professionals.