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Golf Development

A Helping Hand: Swiss Golf Helps Malta Develop Talent Pathway

A Helping Hand : Swiss Golf Helps Malta Develop Talent Pathway


Malta is one of Europe’s smallest golfing countries. The island nation has less than 750 registered players and one official 18-hole course.


The Malta Golf Association (MGA) is nevertheless an active member of the European Golf Association and the Maltese Olympic Committee.


The latter, following the guidelines of the IOC, requires a set of governance standards from its national sport associations for them to be eligible for national funding. These include a well-defined statute, democratic elections, and orderly keeping of accounts, which the MGA is required to adhere to in order to receive funding.


The requirements also cover the way coaching and development programmes are designed and administered. A sport-specific development pathway was the most recent requirement from the Maltese Olympic Committee.


Instead of starting from scratch, the MGA, which receives nearly a third of its funding from the Maltese Olympic Committee, decided to look to other European national golf associations for help in producing their own development pathway.


“We were sure that there were many sports related examples of this type out there produced by countries with better resources than ours and, in all honesty, we felt that we did not need to re-invent the wheel.” Said MGA President, William Beck.


“This led us to find the guidelines for a player’s development from a junior to a professional athlete as published by our colleagues in Switzerland. We were absorbed by this excellent work and requested Swiss Golf to allow us to plagiarise its publication to make it also our own.”


“The Swiss Federation kindly accepted, and we proceeded to amend their template so that this reflected more the possibilities of our country. Naturally, we also used images of our own local athletes. The missing image under mastery indicates that Malta does not have, as yet any golfers that have made it to professional ranking.”


The MGA ‘Foundations – Talent – Elite – Masters (or FTEM) concept and guideline was officially presented to the Maltese Olympic committee in November 2022.


“One of the EGA’s primary objectives is to facilitate the collaboration between its member federations” said EGA General Secretary, Michael Thannhäuser. “It’s always encouraging to see examples of this and I praise Swiss Golf for their willingness to help and the Malta Golf Association for the initiative.”