SportExcel and U.S. Kids Golf join forces to ignite junior golfing dreams in Malaysia

Yayasan Kecemerlangan Sukan Malaysia (SportExcel) has partnered with U.S. Kids Golf (India) Private Limited, solidifying SportExcel’s role as the exclusive organiser of the U.S. Kids Golf Tour in Malaysia. The agreement, effective from 2023 to 2025, grants SportExcel sole rights to host and manage the tour for the next three years, with the option for an extension, ensuring a promising future for junior golf development in Malaysia. SportExcel is set to host an exciting line-up of six U.S. Kids Golf local tour tournaments per season, featuring a one-day local Tour Championship to conclude each season. These local tours, specifically designed by U.S. Kids Golf, offer aspiring young golfers aged 5 to 18 the chance to enhance their skills through age-appropriate competition. By eliminating the need for extensive travel and associated expenses, these tournaments provide boys and girls with an accessible platform to showcase their abilities close to home. Junior golfers will engage in competition within their respective divisions, with eight age-group categories for boys and five categories for girls. Additionally, the local tours create opportunities for players to qualify for U.S. Kids Golf multi-day events through the Priority Status system. Successful participants can earn invitations to prestigious events such as the U.S. State Invitationals, U.S. Regional Invitationals, and International Championships worldwide, including Malaysia, India, Australia, Europe, the U.S. Kids Golf World Teen Championship, and the renowned U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA.   

The agreement, signed between SportExcel’s founder and chairman Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar and the president of U.S. Kids Golf (India), Rajesh Srivastava, also allows SportExcel to organise a three-day U.S. Kids International Championship. This championship provides an opportunity for U.S. Kids Golf Tour players from Malaysia and other parts of the world to qualify via the Priority Status system. Tunku Tan Sri Imran expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Our juniors can now have a great platform to compete with international players in the U.S. Kids International Championship right here in Malaysia. With the U.S. Kids Local Tour being held in Malaysia, our juniors are now in a better position to garner points and qualify into the International Championship in Malaysia and other parts of the world, thus elevating their Priority Status to qualify into the World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA.” With the agreement commencing this year and the local tour tournaments scheduled to start in September 2023, SportExcel aims to produce more players with Priority Status, qualifying them for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship 2024. This collaboration with U.S. Kids Golf will enable more Malaysian juniors to participate in these prestigious events. To support the smooth running of the tournaments, SportExcel estimates an annual cost of RM250,000 and is actively raising funds. They urge the private and public sectors to contribute, whether through monetary assistance or in-kind support, to help nurture junior sporting excellence and join them on this journey. Tunku Tan Sri Imran emphasised the significance of the partnership, stating, “Working with U.S. Kids Golf is another feather in our hat, propelling us further into the international arena. After 32 years since the launch of SportExcel in 1991, we have contributed tremendously to junior golf in Malaysia, building young athletes from kindergarten to university years.”  

He added, “SEA Games 2023 Women’s Golf gold medallist, JX Ng, and SEA Games 2021 Men’s Golf gold medallist, Ervin Chang, are the sweet successes where SportExcel played a part in. SportExcel have been running the Junior Golf Circuit which aims to grow the game at the grassroots while the Premier-Elite Golf Circuit provides a more competitive platform for the better players to compete and grow. On top of these two local circuits, SportExcel runs the International Junior Golf Championship annually where top junior players from the Asia-Pacific region and the top local juniors are invited to compete in Malaysia.” He highlighted SportExcel’s strong ties with Junior Golf Associations in the Asia-Pacific region, resulting in reciprocal alliances that allow SportExcel juniors to participate in international junior championships. Many juniors have successfully transitioned from junior golf to college golf, with numerous offers of full or partial scholarships as student-athletes in prestigious U.S. colleges, providing a balanced focus on academics and athletics. Several SportExcel alumni have advanced their golf careers to the professional level, including Gavin Green, Ervin Chang, Galven Green, Paul San, Kelly Tan, Natasha Andrea Oon, Ashley Lau, and many more on the Asian Tour and PGM Tour.    

U.S. Kids Golf India signs up for international tour in Singapore   The U.S. Kids Golf India, which plans to conduct events across Asia under the U.S. Kids Golf Asia umbrella, signed its first major partner in Singapore. The series to be called U.S. Kids Golf Singapore Tour, will come under the aegis of USKG, Asia. The agreement was officially signed by Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, President, U.S. Kids Golf, Asia, and President USKG, India, and Ms. Lyn Yeo, Founder of LLD Sports. It will set the ball rolling for a series of six events, which could be expanded further. “We are proud to bring the U.S. Kids Golf Tour to Singapore. Over the next few weeks and months, we will have a series of partnerships across Asia in popular golf playing countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and many more countries,” said Mr. Srivastava. With both sides agreeing to create more opportunities for young and talented golfers from either country, the first beneficiary will be India’s top amateur, Avani Prashanth, who will get to play at a pro event in Singapore, which is being run by LLD Sports. Lyn Yeo said, “We are thrilled to bring a world class brand of tournaments to Singapore, through which our young golfers in Singapore can make their way to international events in Europe and the United States. We also look forward to the youngsters going to India for Indian Championships later in the year.” The six-event U.S. Kids Golf Singapore Tour will have their events at the iconic Laguna National Resort, which has two world class facilities, the Classic and Masters layouts. Mr. Kevin Kwee, the Executive Director of the Laguna National Resort said he would offer all help and facilities to the U.S. Kids Golf Tour. The Laguna National Golf Resort has been a venue for various Asian Tour and DP World Tour events, U.S. Kids Golf India and U.S. Kids Golf Singapore have also agreed to assist each other in securing entries and playing opportunities for U.S. Kids alumnus in both countries. Mr. Srivastava added, “Such partnerships will see more doors opening for young golfers in other events being run by our partners. We have secured an entry for Avani Prashanth, India’s top amateur and the most successful Indian in U.S. Kids Golf history, in the prestigious Singapore Ladies Masters, a US $100,000 professional event. Though she is still an amateur, she will play alongside professionals as the event, which is part of the Chinese LPGA will offer a lot of ranking points.” “The Asian Games bound Avani secured multiple Top-5 finishes in U.S. Kids Golf European and World Championships, and we will secure more such opportunities for other youngsters around Asia.”   The U.S. Kids Golf Singapore Tour kicked off earlier this week with the first event featuring over 70 participants across various age groups. There will be five more events, with the last one being the Tour Championship. These performances will be the basis on which youngsters will qualify for the international events in Europe and World Championships in 2024. Mr. Srivastava said, “We are delighted to have someone like Lyn (Yeo) and LLD Sports Singapore as our partner. Our partnerships will be a game-changer for youngsters in the region.” Lyn added, “It is a pleasure to have players like Avani at our pro event. I am hopeful that soon many young stars on U.S. Kids Tours across Asia will make a name for themselves on the global platform.”