It’s a long way from the beautiful German city of Wiesbaden to Chiang Mai, but that is a journey Grade 11 student Lucas Geiger chose to make, to follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and to continue his specialized training in golf - a sport about which he is passionate.
Lucas is the Club Champion of Germany’s oldest golf course, the Wiesbadener Golf Club, and he used to play its nine holes regularly, as well as playing the two longer 18-hole courses to be found in Wiesbaden.
While Lucas currently has a golf handicap of ten, he wants to reduce that to five in the next few months and eventually to be a scratch golfer on a zero handicap. His coach, “Spike” Collier at the Three-Generation Golf Academy (TGGA), is a great teacher, according to Lucas, who adds, “I realized several months ago just how good he is! I thought my old technique was fine but he has been slowly changing everything and I was asking myself – Why? Now he is starting to put it all together again and I am now playing much better than I was when I first arrived.”
Lucas is balancing five days of training each week at the TGGA’s (http://golf.threegeneration.org) golf driving ranges or at the many golf courses in Chiang Mai with the demands of his academic work. "The golf academy is a first rate institution where our Team Elite players such as Lucas are trained to practice and compete with a positive, winning attitude that carries over into their tournament play, collegiate ambitions and in every day life. Combined with an IB education young golfers now have a complete package to enhance their future," says coach Spike.
Although he had studied English for many years in Germany, applying that knowledge proved difficult in the first few weeks at Prem International School (http://ptis.threegeneration.org), where all the lessons are in English. Lucas realizes that golf is unlikely to be his ultimate career, and has chosen a particularly demanding program of studies in the IB, aiming for a career in business. “The IB is the greatest certificate in the world, so it will help me get to one of the best universities,”
“The world’s future markets are likely to be in Asia, so I chose to come to Chiang Mai to learn more about the people and the cultures that we will soon be doing business with,” Lucas said. He has already come a long way along that path, as he points out that some of his friends at the school are Thai or Vietnamese, American, Cambodian, Chinese, Australian / New Zealand, Dominican / German or Bhutanese!
Lucas is a boarder at Prem and it is in the boarding residences that he has made these multi-national friendships. He says that being a boarder is both good and bad – it allows him to meet lots of new friends but it is also not quite the same as being at home! But “home” recently came to Chiang Mai when Lucas’s father Thomas recently spent a few days with his son at the school and on local golf courses. Their favorite was the Highlands Golf and Spa Resort. Set in the foot-hills east of Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Highlands was designed by Schmidt-Curley Design and gives golfers the distraction of magnificent views on every hole; although Lucas points out that all the water hazards make playing this course a real challenge.
“I am an ambitious golfer,” said Lucas, “and my motivation to succeed in this sport and in my academic studies comes from within. My dad is a great role model although he tells me simply to do what is best for me.” Lucas, a quietly-spoken, courteous young man, is a great ambassador for his home town, a valued member of the school’s residential community – and one who may well set the world’s fairways and business schools alight in the not-too-distant future.
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Established in 2001, Prem International School is one of the most prestigious international schools in South-East Asia and one of only a few boarding schools in Asia offering the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) including IBCC.
Residing on the tropical grounds of Traidhos Three-Generation Community for Learning, Prem provides a holistic (Pre K-12) IB education on a spacious, nature-filled campus, with comfortable boarding facilities to accommodate international students from across Asia and beyond.
More than 35 nationalities make up the international school student body. At Traidhos, visiting students and adults of all ages can also enjoy specialized professional sport academies in Tennis, Golf, Cricket and Football.
With a 100 acre campus admired by international schools of Thailand and across the world, the school prides itself on its peaceful and studious environment along with famous Thailand hospitality to help nurture the students' growth and development.