Kiwi coach keen for gold

By Chen Xiangfeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-05-14 09:09
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Chinese women's golf team chasing glory at November's Asian Games


Kiwi coach keen for gold
National golfer Wang Xin tees off during the second round of the China Amateur Golf Futures Tour's Beijing stage at the Beijing California County Golf Club on Thursday. Wang carded two-over 74 to share the lead with national teammate Lin Xiyu.

BEIJING - From the swing to putting to fitness and diet, Gareth Winslow is taking care of everything for the Chinese women's golf squad.

And he is doing all these things with one goal in mind - to win gold at the Guangzhou Asian Games in November.

"Our chance (to win) is very good. These girls have improved a lot since I took up the job," said New Zealander Winslow, who has been in China for six years and started his coaching career with the national team late in 2008.

"We have more tournaments in the next few months and we'll keep working hard to prepare for the Games."

The Kiwi and his eight charges are currently at the China Amateur Golf Futures Tour event at the Beijing California County Golf Club and are keen to show the national team boasts the country's best female amateurs.

The squad will go through some selection tournaments in June and July as only three will represent China at the Asian Games. After that, they will move on to Guangzhou's Dragon Lake Golf Club for final tune-up before the Asian Games' tee-off.

Adding to Winslow's confidence, the golf club in Guangzhou is the competition course for the Games.

Kiwi coach keen for gold

"We should be very familiar with the course. So that will give us home-course advantage. We could be there for two to three months while the other countries will have no chance to see the course," he said.

"We will spend as much time as possible on the course and get familiar with every hole.

"That gives us more confidence to achieve our goal."

While Winslow has been working on improving the Chinese women's games, he also invited an American friend to implement physical training, which he believes is widely ignored in China.

"Golf is an all-round game. You cannot just focus on one thing. You have to train on a lot of things - swing, long game, short game, bunkers, fitness, diet," he said.

"Now our fitness is pretty good. We watch their diet very closely. They have become much stronger. They run every day. It has made a big difference and a very good impact.

"These things are still relatively new in China as well as in Asia. In the US PGA and LPGA it's common to look at your fitness, diet and other things. It's not something people think of much in China and Asia. They think golf is just hitting the ball ... driving and putting.

"Golf is a game of power and speed so it needs lots of physical ability. That's why fitness, diet and physical training is very important. That's something we have been working on over the past year."

Winslow coached at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida and assisted several PGA players.

He then moved to the Leadbetter Academy at Mission Hills Resort in Shenzhen in 2004 before establishing a new academy in Shanghai two years later.

Winslow led China to an outstanding fourth place in the Queen Sirikit Cup in Indonesia last year after taking over the team two months before the competition.

He was honored as one of China's top three foreign coaches last year thanks to his achievement.