CARLSBAD, CA – It didn’t take long for Shanshan Feng’s bronze medal win to make an impact in China.
In August, golf made its return to the Olympic games for the first time in more than 100 years. Golf’s involvement was touted as an opportunity to grow the game around the world, but there was a cautious optimism that it could be years before the industry would see a substantial influx of new players inspired by the Olympic coverage. Now, less than nine months after finishing on the podium in Rio, Feng told LPGA.com she plans to open the Shanshan Feng Golf Academy sometime in 2017.
A longtime pupil of the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, Feng says she’ll be leaning on the expertise of her own instructor, Gary Gilchrist, in the opening of her new golf school. Gary Gilchrist Training Ambassador Marty LaRoche has been tapped as the new Director of Golf at Shanshan Feng Golf Academy.
“We’re going to be teaching Gary’s system. The whole point is about learning under the same program and the same system I’m learning and then they don’t have to go over seas,” Feng said.
Aware of the sacrifice and financial burden for families who decide to send their children across the world for training, Feng wanted to provide another option for families in China.
“For a lot of the parents, when the kids are so young, they’re so worried if they send the kids over seas,” Feng said. “If they send the kids over it’s very expensive and one parent, or both of the parents, have to move over with the kid and they have to give up a lot of stuff. I want to give them a chance now they don’t need to leave the country and they can still leave the same thing. That’s why I wanted to open this academy.”
The Shanshan Feng Golf Academy will be on-site at the Nansha Golf Club, a 36-hole track located near Feng’s hometown of Guangzhou.