How a Teenage Golfer Went From a 12 Handicap To Qualifying For An Asian Tour Event in Under Two Years
As far-fetched as it might seem, Pro Tour Golf College student Adi Bramantio has done exactly that. This week he won a place in the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters being played at the Royale Jakarta Golf Course.
In the field are Major winners Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Michael Campbell and most of the top professionals from the Asian Tour.
Ibam as he is known by family, friends and all at Pro Tour Golf College did not take the game up until he was 17 years old. The reason being is that his chosen sport was soccer and he had achieved an extremely high level and was the goalkeeper for the under 18 Indonesian National team.
His father Wasito took up the game of golf and was captivated by it. He introduced it to his son who also fell in love with it and soccer took a back seat.
Like most athletes who have highly developed functional motor skills like running, jumping, throwing and catching (all the things you have to be good at as a goalkeeper) Ibam's progress was good until he plateaued at the 12 handicap level.
His father recognizing this searched the internet to find a coaching program that would give Ibam the best opportunity to reach his full potential. The result was Ibam enrolling in the 1st semester of PTGC in April of 2011.
Although off a 12 handicap Ibam initially found it hard to score and with the difficulty of courses (Joondalup Resort and Links Kennedy Bay) breaking 85 was a problem. Also there was some technical adjustments that needed to be done to improve his ball flight. The area that was holding him back the most from scoring better was an ordinary short game and scoring wedge game.
In the second semester Ibam started to break 80 in the weekly PTGC tournament days and his wedge game and putting improved out of sight. This was due to improved technique but mainly because of the volume of work and quality of focus on the daily drills and routines PTGC demands.
In September of 2011 the Indonesian Golf Association selected PTGC to prepare their men's and Women's National Teams. The teams arrived in Perth to attend an intensive training camp and Ibam had the opportunity to gauge where he was with the best amateurs from his country.
On the fourth day a tournament was held for all players from the Indonesian teams and students fromm PTGC at the Meadow Springs Golf Course about 1.5 hours south of Perth. The conditions were tough on the day with strong winds and slick greens and at the end of the day Ibam had tied with Rinaldi for the lowest round of 74.
This was a huge mental breakthrough for him as he knew that he could match it with the best from his country. Indonesia is not yet a powerhouse in Asian golf but with the next generation being better trained and not setting limits on how far they can go, young golfers like Ibam will play their way onto the main professional golf tours.
Ibam through 2012 continued to attend PTGC with a break in the third semester to play in local amateur and professional tournaments in Indonesia. Like all golfers he fell back into some old bad habits and picked up a few new ones.
Within a month of being back at PTGC and with our intensive training regime he was back on track. His program now is to play more competitive golf but still maintain the training programs that have got him to this stage.
Over the last month he has competed in events in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia. In the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open a final day 69 which was the low round of the day placed him third a couple of shots from winning.
Last Sunday he finished in the top three of the qualifying tournament for the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters held at the Rawamangun Golf Course.
So in the space of two years Ibam's competitive score average has been reduced from 85.3 to 74.1 and remember this is all his competitive scores. At PTGC we don't pay attention to club handicaps as it is not an accurate measure of where you need to be to make it on a professional tour.
Here's a great example; we have a student at PTGC whose Golf Australia handicap is (+5) but her competitive stroke average is 73.7!
It doesn't make sense does it?
But all amateur golfers attending PTGC know that their long term goal is to achieve the success scoring code standard of 12-4-2 (12 pars-4 birdies-2 bogies) average and they will be in the top ten of any professional tour they play on.
Ibam has a long way to go before he is competitive on a major professional tour, but he has climbed a long way up the ladder from where he was two years ago.
We wish him all the best in the tournament and look forward to seeing him back at training and taking the next giant leap in his progress to being a successful tour professional.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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