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News, Stories, and Tips

Coach Brett Saunders Heads to China

Recently I made a trip to Beijing, China to not only coach but to spend some time with a past student and good friend, Rafael Lee (Raffy). I began coaching Brazilian born Korean, Raffy in Vancouver 20 years ago when he was 10 years old and continued to coach him for the next 15 years as he competed throughout Junior, Amateur and Professional Events worldwide.
Although the 31-year-old Raffy, has now turned his focus into full-time coaching, he had a very accomplished playing resume which included one of the most successful years in Canadian / British Columbian Golf History. He made 2006 a very memorable year by winning the Canadian Junior Champion, Canadian Juvenile Champion, BC Junior Champion, BC Juvenile Champion, Zone 4 City Junior Champion, Zone 4 City Amateur Champion, Western Future Links Champion and 2nd in the World Junior Championship.
Raffy is now based in Beijing, China with his wife and is operating his own Golf Academy which is primarily focused on providing the young Juniors of Beijing aged between 7-12 years old with a solid foundation in both on course and off course golf skills. It was a fun trip as I also traveled with my daughter Ella-May and made it a Daddy-Daughter Trip which allowed me to combine a little bit of sightseeing with coaching. We hosted a little Golf Camp for his students where we combined not only some full swing, short game, and on-course coaching but discussed how the young athletes can improve upon their practice time. A major focus was to show the junior athletes that they have to put themselves through a lot more game-like situations during their practice sessions and to always try to "Bridge The Gap" between Practice and Performance Pressures that they face during their competitions. A key feature of our camps was that we were testing all of the athletes during our morning sessions and then after some coaching, practice time we would then re-test them in the afternoon, providing them with feedback on how they improved and what areas they need to continue to focus on.
It was a great opportunity to learn a lot from Raffy and to also provide the athletes of his Golf Academy with some advice that maybe will simply challenge them a little more during their journey. All in all, it was a fantastic trip and I am very proud of Raffy as he is developing into a fine coach and positively influencing many young people in China through the Game of Golf.
Brett Saunders
Director of Coaching & Development
PGA of Australia Member
PGA of Canada ‘Class A’ Professional
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