When it comes to growing the game of golf amongst Women, Vattanac Golf Resort in Cambodia has been leading the way, encouraging both female associates and guests into the game! From special ladies’ tuition options and a development plan for the golf academy there to educating and empowering female associates in the golf operations and agronomy teams, the facility is leading the way with its initiatives.
Ladies Golf Tuition
David Lamprecht, Head Professional at Vattanac Golf Resort has launched a brilliant new series of Ladies Golf Clinics. These 90-minute sessions will cover a different topic each week with the aim of growing the game amongst local female golfers and empowering them with the skills and knowledge to enjoy the golf course. Speaking about Troon Women’s Golf Month, David said: “Our biggest focus for this month is to create a warm welcoming environment for ladies where they feel comfortable to come and learn golf in a stress-free environment with a qualified coach without the added pressure of signing up for a golf lesson or being pushed straight onto the golf course. With the relaxed nature of golf in Cambodia, it is a very good way for ladies to learn to play golf without the added stress of anyone waiting behind them to play through, they can play at their own pace with the encouragement of our very professionally trained caddies. ”
David’s Tip: A simple tip that I share with all my lady students relates to the grip and how to get a little more power
Grip: For the grip, make sure that the club sits in your first line in your fingers as this will give you maximum control of the clubface as well as add more speed as your fingers are far stronger than your palms are
Imagine climbing a wall or hanging onto a bar above your head, if you grab the object with your palms it will be very difficult to:
- Hang on to the wall or the pole; or
- To pull yourself up the wall or the pole with just your palms.
The same thing happens when playing golf. You want to be sure that you are holding on to the club with the strongest part of your hands to gain maximum speed and control.
Type of grip: I always encourage ladies to hold the club with a baseball or 10 finger grip.
The reason for this is that in general ladies’ clubs come standard with standard size grips which makes it very difficult to get a good hold of the club if the overlap or interlock grip is used, in general, ladies’ hands are smaller than men’s but the grip size will be the same as a men’s grip.
The benefit of this again is that the 10 finger grip will add more coverage on the grip and when combined with the club being in the fingers, the ladies will get a great deal more feel, power, and control of the clubface.
Checkpoints for a good 10 finger grip
- Be sure to keep the thumbs pointing straight
- Make sure the hands are very close together but not overlapping, we want all 10 fingers on the club.
Meet Sokhim, the female Assistant Superintendent caring for the course
I grew up on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in the province of Kandal; enjoying nature with my siblings from a young age and helping my family grow rice and vegetables. So my progression to forging a career in golf course management was somewhat natural as it allowed me to continue growing the skills I knew and be amongst nature. I started my golf course management career 8 years ago and have worked from the ground up; working as one of the golf course crew, a landscaper, operator, supervisor and now in my current role of 2nd Assistant Golf Course Superintendent.
With my strong work ethic and eagerness to learn, I have been able to develop professionally in my role at Vattanac Golf Resort, and use my position as a leader to share my knowledge and experience with my team and the other women working at Vattanac Golf Resort.
The All-Female Caddie Team with All The Course Knowledge at Vattanac Golf Resort
Vattanac Golf Resort is the only Troon course with an all-female caddie team and the facility prides itself on educating and empowering the team, with regular training sessions to help them make every golfers experience the best it can be. So in honour of Troon Women’s Golf Month, we spoke to Vattanac Golf Resort’s Best Caddie of the Month for April 2021, Sokmean Sous. As winner of Best Caddie of the Month she gets access to play the course and qualifies for a place in their yearly golf trip.
Sokmean, congratulations on being named Best Caddie for April 2021. What does it represent for you?
“I am very happy and proud; since this new evaluation system started, I tried to be consistent, to always take care of my guests so it is a real satisfaction to see that my hard work is recognized. I have always been motivated by the access to the golf course this award is offering.”
What does it change for you?
“The day after I learnt I was awarded best caddie I went directly to do some shopping to buy golf clothes – I love golf fashion. It’s been a long time that I have wanted to play and now it is coming true. I am also very excited about our golf trip project at the end of the year.”
Being best caddie, it is also more expectations from your caddie master, your colleagues. Do you like it?
“When we are named Best Caddie, it is a privilege that we have to honour. We can be involved for the caddie training, or be assigned to caddie for a special guest or VIP, so we need to set an example.”
Vattanac Golf Resort is growing more and more every year, where do you see yourself in the coming years?
“Being involved in caddie training is something I like; I really want to play more to understand more about the game and keep improving the way I serve my guests.”
For Troon properties that don’t have caddies, can you share some details about your team and the organization?
“We are 120 caddies divided in to 4 teams of 30 caddies (18 to 28 years). Each team is led by one caddie leader, and the field is supervised by two caddie masters. When we arrive, we get prepared to serve guests, prepare our golf cart (cleaning, setup, guest name in the GPS, cooler). Guest assignment is organized by rotation or we also have the possibility to be booked by guests. The best of us are generally booked and therefore it is important that we offer a consistent quality service to our guests”
Can you share more about the caddie training, how is it organized?
‘’New caddies receive a 3 months training program before being able to serve guests, which includes both practice on the course and theory in classroom. For experienced caddies we have an extensive program to keep learning. Every month we receive an online video training and test about the game or rules. Also what is cool is having the opportunity to keep improving our English and Chinese language, with one lesson per week. We know international tourists should arrive by the end of the year in Cambodia, so speaking English is a priority for us.”