Cora Suntay said she believes that golf is “gentle” compared with tennis that is why she started seriously pursuing the sport at the age of 21.
Suntay, a former national player, is now with the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines (WGAP) serving in the capacity of team captain and coach for international games.
She said that the Philippines has top caliber talents but many are underdeveloped because of the high cost of playing golf. Suntay laments the lack of solid grassroots sports development program in the country, adding that some of her students came from other sports like baseball. “It’s up to their parents to sustain the development of their children should they opt to seriously pursue sports,” she said.
The veteran coach describes golf as a great teacher of discipline and humility.
“It is both a mental and physical game and you are basically playing against the course, not against anybody, one day your game is good, the next day it’s not,” she said, adding that she also treasures the camaraderie that teaching and playing golf brings.
As a coach, Suntay said that it’s important for her that a student retains his or her individuality and independence.
“I don’t talk to them while they’re playing. Once they are playing, I expect that they know what they’re doing already. They should be on their own. I don’t want them to always expect that somebody will help them. It should not be like that. Once you’re playing, you should be already properly trained,” Suntay said.
Though she named her being Ladies Club champion for three consecutive years (1989 to 1991) as her most memorable victories, Suntay said she is not really interested in winning.
“I won those tournaments because I was dared. But I don’t have anything to prove to myself.”
She said that her dream is to see a Filipina become the No.1 player in the world.
“We can do it. We have the potential to become No.1 in the world if we train adequately enough,” she concluded.