Jörgen Persson – the swing doctor

“More and more Scandinavians could be noticed among the tourists on the golf courses during the last five years. Now I would say Scandinavians represent 50 per cent of the Europeans coming to the golf courses in Hua Hin,” says Jörgen who started playing golf at the age of 13 and has been playing for 25 years. And the booming property sector for Scandinavians is likely to bring in even more golf fans.
He also participates in competitions on local level, maximum four times per year in the larger competitions like TPC and about five times on the smaller ones.
“For me it is important to play, so irrelevant of on what level I am, if I don’t play in competitions, I won’t be able to fully do my work as an instructor. I don’t agree with those saying that you don’t need to know how to play in order to train others. You must know how it feels to play in a competition,” thinks Jörgen.
So far he has managed to enter the local four-day competitions but the competition is getting tougher there too. Because of finances and partly due to lack of the talent needed, Jörgen claims he is not on the level of the Asian tour. Instead of playing he trains elite players who participates.
“In order to make a living on the tour, you cannot do it entirely on your own. You need a guide ensuring that you stay on the level where you should be. It is about ensuring they keep their level, not starting any bad habits in their style of playing.”
Jörgen often plays the role of a ‘Swing doctor’, when something goes wrong for golf pros and others who come to him wondering: ‘What has happened to my swing?’
“Newcomers are always the largest clientele. When you start playing, it is much more difficult doing it without an instructor. So when you get some guidance along the way, an idea of how to move the ball from A to B, then it is much easier getting a good start.”
Then they improve and once their appetite has been whetted they come back for more training enabling them to go further. “So you have the next large group of players there wanting to improve their handicap, reaching fewer than 90 or 80 on 18 holes,” says Jörgen.
Through Jörgen golfers improve their golf game by learning the proper golf swing mechanics. Once a fortnight he comes to Bangkok training his expat clients at a driving range on Sukhumvit 42.
“This clientele already plays or has been keen on playing but did not really have the time before coming to Thailand with easy access to it and one of the best places to learn playing.” Here Jörgen finds it much easier to get going and out on the golf courses, in comparison with all the rules and regulations in Sweden.
When Jörgen first came here he was responsible for the golfing part of group tours from Sweden. Seven years ago he move permanently to Thailand and was hired by Springfield Village Resort & Spa to be responsible for its golf school and training.
After a sojourn in Bangkok, he was soon Back in Hua Hin where he prefers to live and works together with a partner who has a golf travel agency – Golf of Siam. Jörgen’s role is local golf pro, giving advice and taking care of customers on location, plus freelancing outside.
Currently he is involved in a very exciting project, where a Swedish investor, Stig Notlöv, owner of Byggmax, is constructing a golf and house project in Hua Hin with the aim to be one of the best in Asia.
“Stig has very high ambitions. To be part of something on such a scale is a dream for any golf guy. Normally the question is how much which can be achieved for as little money as possible. In this case, quality comes first.”
If everything goes well, the first golf course (out of two!) will open in December 2006.
For anyone interested in Jörgen’s services, he can be reached at ph. 014346540.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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