The first tournaments of 2020 have already been played, and the season will soon be in full swing. David da Silva, the Head Coach of the SGA, tells about the Academy’s winter training and expectations for the upcoming season.
Emphasis on technical improvements in winter training
During winter months our goal is to develop every player technically in all areas of the game. The four months of winter indoor training consist of 2 x 8 week cycles with focus on technical swing improvements. In between we try to get all program players to attend an outdoor training camp with some competition to test their indoor work and improvements on course.
In early January we had a two-week camp in Spain for the younger groups and the elite amateurs with two competitions – FJT Finnish Open at Lauro GC and the Copa Andalucia, both WAGR points events. It was a tough 13-day stretch where players practiced every day and got 13 rounds on course.
We currently have six players attending college in the US. During their winter break some of them also participated in our camp, which gave us a good chance to work with them outdoors and in competition before their college spring tournaments.
In the 3rd week of January we held a training camp for the professional group with similar goals: practice and play every day testing improvements. This year we played two of the Portugal Winter Series tournaments.
In general we were very happy with our players’ technical progress, which is the key objective at this stage. As a bonus, they also did quite well in the two amateur and professional events we played.
Major performance improvements expected in the upcoming season
SGA program is one of the few coaching programs that has helped players succeed with wins at most levels from junior to Challenge Tour. Moving forward we will press on to help our players excel at even higher levels.
For the younger amateurs competing on the national level, the key emphasis is on building a solid technical base and developing a competitive mentality and training discipline required at the top level of youth golf.
For the elite amateurs, we are gearing up for participation in all the major European amateur elite competitions. Our focus for this group is to focus more on international results than national/regional results and to be very competitive against the best amateurs in the world.
For the professionals, the competitive levels are moving up every season and we work our players to keep getting better every season and move up the different Tours. Having players on LET, Challenge Tour and 3rd level Tours requires good planning so that we can ensure continuous coaching support, advice and guidance. We do this by accompanying our pros to a number of tournaments throughout the season.
Our goals are to have a SGA player at the Tokyo Olympic Games, move Challenge Tour players to European Tour, and 3rd level Tour players to the Challenge Tour. It’s tough but we are patient and work the process step by step.
In the upcoming season we project some major performance improvements for a number of our players. We are confident that 2020 in general and across all our player categories and Tours will be our most successful ever.