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Youth`s overseas golf training rises

Posted January. 10, 2001 14:17,   


During winter vacation, a growing number of juvenile golfers are visiting foreign countries, including Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, for overseas field training.

According to golf training institutes and travel agencies, the number of Korean students at primary, junior high and senior high schools, and universities who are trained at foreign golf courses or made such reservations during the winter vacation is estimated to surpass 5,000.

Noting that youths¡¯ overseas golf training during school vacation is on a steady rise since the mid-1990s, Kim Ok-Jung, president of Edu House, a company specializing in golf-related studying abroad, said, ¡°The field training in Thailand is gaining popularity thanks to low costs, and that in Australia and New Zealand attracts Korean juvenile golfers steadily.¡±

An estimated 3,000 youths flew to Thailand this winter, sending many golf courses in the country into confusion. We can see usually that about 40 Korean youths are trained at golf courses near Chiang Mai, Pattaya in Thailand, paying about 2.5 million won for a month. Several years ago, many Korean youths suffered due to food problems, but a new golf program providing Korean food has been established.

In many cases in Australia and New Zealand, professional golfers train Korean youths during winter. Korea juvenile golfers are often seen at golf courses in Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane in Australia, and Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand. They are usually paying 5 million to 6 million won for training, excluding airfare, for two months.

A local resident said that they usually purchase a temporary golf course membership and engage in intensive training programs through unlimited rounding of a golf course and practices.

¡°Just many rounds of golf without systematic training cannot make a good golfer,¡± Professor Woo Chan-Myung of the social and physical education department of Kyungin Women¡¯s College said after returning home from a tour to golf courses in Thailand. ¡°Such an overseas golf training should be improved toward a right direction.¡±

Kim Kyung-Dal dal@donga.com