2009 SEA Games golf course up to par

Posted by samakomlao Sunday, February 24, 2008

In anticipation of a newly created golf course, the Laos Golf Federation is now planning the golf tournament, one of many events in the 25 th SEA Games to be held in Vientiane next year.

Although the medal winning chances for Laos are meagre as the team lacks international experience and sufficient skills, the federation is still encouraging improvements.

It is also looking for a professional coach to train the team for the games.

“The Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation based in Australia will provide financial assistance so that the Lao golf team can participate in the SEA Games,” said the General Secretary of the Lao Golf Federation, Mr Songkham Silaphet.

The Booyoung Company of the Republic of Korea granted about 50 billion kip (US$5 million) for the creation of a 27-hole golf course of international standard on about 150 hectares of land at Km18 in Vientiane .

The golf course is now 30 percent complete and it is expected it will be finished well ahead of the games.

The Korean company has signed a contract with the Asean Civil Road and Bridge Construction Company of Laos to design and create the golf course.

The company will provide further funding to build amenities such as a restaurant and hotel around the course, to attract tourists.

After the close of the games, the Booyoung Company will release a second grant to extend the course by an additional 60 hectares. This will make it a total of 210 hectares with 45 holes.

“The golf course will surely attract more tourists to Laos which will increase national revenue. We will also be able to organise more professional golf tournaments,” Mr Songkham said.

The federation's organising committee will form a new body to select its new president at the end of this month.

The committee will organise the training of youngsters below the age of 25 in preparation for the games.

“We still lack a qualified coach with both theoretical knowledge and knowledge of physical training techniques. We need to train young players and bring them up to international standard. Also we are still looking for more sponsors who can offer financial support to the Lao team,” Mr Songkham said.

The city's existing golf course at Km 14 is not of sufficient standard for international tournament play, although Lao players were able to prepare themselves for the 24 th SEA Games in Thailand last December.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong

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