A junior programme has been launched to encourage young people to consider golf as a career, either as a tour player or club professional. The programme, conducted with the assistance of the Professional Golfers' Association of China (PGAC), has picked 12 teenage boys and girls from the nearby Chung Shan and Zhuhai areas. Lakewood professional Wee Peng Siong said all those selected had some exposure to the game but had not had access to any playing facilities. 'What I propose to do is to teach them the rules and etiquette of golf. They will come twice a week for golf lessons, play 18 holes and hit balls at the driving range,' Mr Wee said. 'To filter real talent you have to provide a lot of schooling, and when the PGAC first proposed this, we thought it a good thing and beneficial to the game in China. Hopefully, a Chinese player will one day challenge for the British Open.' Two possible candidates for that challenge are Zhang Lianwei and Cheng Jun, China's top professional golfers. The success of Zhang, who started as a caddie at the Zhuhai Golf Club, has awakened strong interest in the game among local youths. 'Those guys are a real inspiration to the youth here who feel it is maybe possible for them to follow in their footsteps,' Mr Wee said. 'The exposure that golf gets in the media today has made it attractive to youngsters.' Mr Wee said he was proposing to separate the junior programme into two groups in six month's time and concentrate on working with four or five players who had the potential to play tournament golf. The rest, he said, would be directed into possible careers as club professionals. 'You always have to start at the grassroots level and the juniors are so important in anything you do. I would like to see other clubs start similar programmes to create that competitive atmosphere and make this area a real hot-spot for golf.'