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Seniors PGAP alive and kicking


‘We are former professional golfers who are too old to compete with the pros on the tour, but young to retire either.’

MARIO Manubay (left) is the pillar of the SPGAP whose officers are (from left) Lito Salva, Jun Castillo, Buddy de Joya, Rey Alit and Doming Umadhay. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Mario Manubay

One would find them at the driving range barking out instructions to golfing students. They watch over your swing and ball contact — or the lack of it. Oh, you’d hear from them, mostly when you’re hitting it badly. When they’re silent, you know you’re doing well.

Most of these teaching pros once played the tour. Like Mario Manubay, for example. He won the Philippine Open back in 1986 with an eight-under victory at Villamor, beating American Michael Allen and Canadian Tony Grimes.

“We are former professional golfers who are too old to compete with the pros on the tour, but young to retire either,” Manubay told Tribune Golf. “We know we still have it, but you can’t put us against the touring pros.”

That’s the reason the Senior Professional Golfers Association of the Philippines was created back in 1980, and incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1991.

With membership close to a hundred expanding to Visayas and Mindanao, these teaching pros are still competitive. But only among themselves. They are not to be confused with the Professional Golfers Associations of the Philippines which has its own age-group brackets.

Buddy de Joya is the current SPGAP president, Rey Alit vice president, Jun Castillo secretary, Lito Salva board member/tournament director, Doming Omadhay auditor/director for membership and Manubay BM/TD.

They met on Wednesday at Veterans to discuss several projects for the group, including staging four important events within the coming months.

Foremost of which is the President’s Cup which is tentatively this September at either the Veterans or Villamor. “We would like to make Veterans or Villamor as the home of the SPGAP,” Manubay said.

Also in the pipeline are the Seniors Master, Legends Cup (including Visayas/Mindanao) and the year-end Pro-Am.

Things haven’t returned to the pre-pandemic conditions just yet, but Manubay said they are able to get sponsors here and there for their tournaments.

“The important thing is that we are still very much active as a group, and as golfers,” he added.

True. Because the golf community certainly needs them around.

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