Sunday July 19th
Rookie / Beginner Program
Week 1 of the new Rookie Term Program saw cool, but dry conditions with not much wind to speak of. It was great to see so many returning faces, some making the transition from the holiday program and some new faces as well.
The children got to ease back into the program with some short pitch shots. They were reminded of the basic rules of the junior program and then given a brief explanation on the technique required to achieve a nicely lofted shot. After about 15 minutes the group was broken up into 3 teams to start the weekly team games:
- Team Apple: Eloise, Elsa, Lachie and Sienna
- Team Pineapple: Fraser, Max, Thomas and Sam (Shark)
- Team Watermelon: Eli, Henry, Tombob and Zoe.
The first game was nearest the pin and the shot covered about 20 metres. The children had 10 balls each to try to get the ball as close to the pin as possible. There were some excellent attempts and Team Pineapple looked to be holding the winning shot, until Lachie, with the last shot of the round, claimed the first point for Team Apple, holding a textbook finish to get the ball to finish right next to the pin.
The second game was to the same pin and at the end of the round there were two balls that were both positioned about 3 feet from the pin. A measurement was required and Team Apple came out on top again with Eloise’s shot finishing about 1 cm closer than Max’s.
It was then time to head to the practice putting green and after a few practice putting stations were set up, the children were given a brief explanation of the basics of putting and then shown how to use the training aids.
After about 10 minutes of practice there was time for one last game to decide who would be the winning team this week. Each child was given 2 golf balls to try to either hole a putt, measuring about 4 metres, or at least endeavour to get the ball to finish as close to the hole as possible. The ball nearest the hole would get one point, whilst a ball that found the bottom of the hole would get two points, this meant that any team could win.
There were some valiant attempts and a couple of balls hit the hole and spun out, however, Elsa kept the Team Apple train rolling with her perfectly weighted putt finishing right next to the hole and securing the victory for Team Apple.
Most of the children remembered the rules for the day, but I still managed to find a few of the children out and they were made to go for a quick run to the tree and back. All the children celebrated a successful return to the golf program with a choice of either Super Dooper or chocolate.
Sunday July 26th
Rookie / Beginner Program
Week 2 of the Rookie Term 3 Program saw pleasant conditions again, well at least when you could find some pockets of sunshine on the range.
This week the children were introduced to the full swing. After a brief reminder of the rules it was time to put what was explained into practice. Each child had a swing filmed and reviewed for them to view during the week.
After about twenty minutes it was time for the weekly team games. The group was broken up into 3 teams;
- Team Mango: Fraser, Henry, Lachie and Zoe
- Team Pineapple: Eli, Max, Thomas and Tombob
- Team Watermelon: Eloise, Elsa, Shark and Sienna
For the first game, there were 3 medium sized buckets positioned about twenty metres in front of the children. The game was simple, hit the bucket get one point, get the ball in the bucket and get five points for your team. The children had ten balls each to try to accumulate as many points as possible. Eloise got the first point and at the end of the first round of ten balls, Team Watermelon held a narrow lead with 5 points, closely followed by both Team Mango and Pineapple on 3 points.
The second round saw both Team Mango and Pineapple draw level with Team Watermelon, however, Shark showed that pitching is his specialty and manged a crisply struck pitch that landed in the bucket to give his team the first point of the day!
It was then time to head to the practice putting green for some more putting competitions to finish off the session. There would be time for two more games. Each child would have two golf balls to either try and get the ball into the hole or finish as close to it as possible. If a putt was holed the team would get two points. The second game saw them attempting a putt of about 5 metres. There were many valiant efforts and a cluster of golf balls around the hole, this suited Tombob perfectly and as he has done in the past, rebounded off a couple of balls and into the hole to give Team Pineapple a one point lead heading into the final team game.
The final team game was from the same spot and this time there would be no holed putts and Lachie was awarded nearest the pin to give Team Mango a point. This meant that Team Pineapple would be this week’s victors and allow them the choice of either a chocolate or Super Dooper before the other children received theirs.
Sunday July 19th
Silver / Intermediate Program
The first week of the Silver Term 3 Program saw quite pleasant conditions and with no breeze to speak of, some of the children braved the conditions and wore shorts.
It was great to see nearly all the regular faces back for the term 3 program, with Daisy away and The King girls unable to attend the first week. We welcomed Tom to the program and George also re-acquainted himself with everybody after missing a couple of terms.
The first week back we decided to start with some short game skill work to refresh everyone’s memory of impact and how the body moves. It was fair to say that most of the juniors had enjoyed their break as there was quite a bit of rust to work through. This was not only with the golf swing as a few of the boys had forgotten the clinic rules, and were forced to do more than one run to the bush and back (I still can’t catch Sophie out).
After about 20 minutes we moved into our team game time. This week’s teams were split into 3.
- Team Raspberry: George, Sophie and Tom
- Team Orange: Campbell, Harry and Jack
- Team Juice: Euan, Louis and Ollie
The games for the session were Nearest the Pin and each child had ten golf balls to try to get a point for their team. The first game was to a pin about 20 metres away and in the middle of the green. Sophie showed her exquisite pitching skills to get the closest two balls to the pin and get the first point for Team Raspberry. The second game was won by Sophie again, much to the dismay of Harry, who hit the pin and thought that he deserved the point, however, it ricocheted away just outside Sophie’s closest shot.
The third game was to a pin just positioned over the slope at the front of the green. George kept the Raspberry Roll going, bouncing off a tee and finishing the closest. The fourth game was a much tougher assignment, covering about 30 metres and halfway down a steep slope. Ollie, cunningly used the slope to the right of the green to slow the ball down and gain the first point for Team Juice.
We then headed to the practice putting green to use some training aids to learn some good habits. After about ten minutes we had time for two more quick games. Each child had two golf balls to either hole a putt and get two points or get nearest the pin and get one point. The first putt covered about 5 metres and despite Euan catching a piece of the hole, his ball did not fall and George kept the Team Raspberry domination going giving his team its fourth point and a nearly unassailable lead.
The last putt covered over 15 metres and as such a holed putt would carry four points, meaning any team could win. There were a couple of close calls but Louis got another point for Team Juice after a close measure from Jack. This left Team Raspberry as the comprehensive winners of the first week.
Sunday July 26th
Silver / Intermediate Program
The second week of the Silver Term 3 Program saw beautiful sunny conditions. This week the children got to do some work on their full swing. Each child had a swing filmed and reviewed for them to view during the week and were given a couple of essential things to work on.
After about twenty-five minutes it was time for the weekly team games. The teams this week were:
- Team Watermelon: Campbell, Harry, Jas and Ollie
- Team Jelly: Euan, Jack, Lola and Louis
- Team Pineapple: George, Sophie and Tom
The first game was the old favourite, “hitting into the bunker”. This requires the children to hit the ball into the bunker, positioned about 70 metres away and about 4 metres wide and 4 metres long. Each child would have ten golf balls to try to get as many points as they could for their team. There were many valiant attempts and most of the children got at least one ball in, however, the commanding winners were Team Pineapple with Sophie and George getting five and four balls in respectively! That was a fantastic effort from both children. This gave Team Pineapple the first point of the day.
We had time to head over to the practice putting green for two more games. The children were given instructions to line up in their respective teams and this created massive confusion (way too much for a Sunday morning). After about five minutes everybody worked out which team they should be in and we could re-commence the games.
The next game was a putt that covered about 5 metres. Each child had two golf balls to try to hole the putt or get as close to the hole as possible. For each holed putt the team would get two points and if there were no holed putts the nearest the pin rule would award the closest with one point. Tom kept the Team Pineapple roll going by avoiding the minefield of golf balls around the hole and holing one of his putts, giving his team a commanding three-point lead with only one game to go.
The final game was a much tougher assignment, up and down and across some slopes, covering about twenty metres. As this was a much tougher assignment holing a putt would reward the team with four points. There was some excellent lag putting and despite knocking his playing partner (Sophie’s) golf ball out of the way, George rounded off the convincing day for Team Pineapple with the closest ball.
Another successful day and next week I will endeavour to try to break up the winning force of George, Sophie and Tom!
Sunday July 19th
Gold / Golf Course Ready Program
The first week of the Gold Term 3 Program saw beautiful conditions. This term we welcomed back to the Gold Program Ethan, Jacob W (Kuchar), Jacob Y, Noah and Tom, whilst also welcoming some new faces to the Gold group in Jack, Jake C and Trent.
Like the other programs before them, we started off the Term 3 Gold Program with some refinement of the children’s short game skills. I was glad to see that there wasn’t too much rust to get rid of and it was obvious most of the children had been doing some practice during the school holidays.
After a little bit of tweaking their set ups and techniques it was time for the weekly team games. This week we had Team Orange comprising Jack, Jacob Y, Jake and Trent versus Team Grape who had Ethan, Kuchar, Noah and Tom joining forces to see who would be the first week’s victors.
The game of choice for the week was Nearest the Pin. The first game was up a small slope to a pin positioned generously in the middle of the green, the shot covered about 20 metres, each child had five golf balls to see who could get closest to the pin and secure the first point for their team. Kuchar struck the first blow with a crisply struck pitch to less than one foot to give Team Grape the first point. The second game was to the same pin and there were so many balls positioned around the pin that the latter shots were bouncing off other balls and changing the closest ball all the time with Noah’s last shot securing the second point for Team Grape.
The third game was a small pitch covering about 15 metres but as it was positioned near the fringe of the green, it required some imagination of landing the ball short of the green. Jake showed his nous to bump his shot up the slope and within one foot to get Team Orange off the duck. The next game was a much tougher assignment, a pitch that covered 30 metres, to a pin precariously positioned half way down a steep slope. The shot required even more lateral thinking and Trent used the fringe of the green, to the right of the pin, to slow the ball down and get within one metre and clearly win the second point for Team Orange and level the scores at the change of stations.
The group then headed to the practice putting green to use some training aids to touch up on some putting basics. After about ten minutes it was time to finish off the team games. The next game saw the children get two golf balls each to either try to hole a putt and get two points for their team or if no putts were hold get, nearest the hole and get one point.
The first putting game covered about 7 metres and there were many lip outs but no putts fell into the hole, meaning Jacob Y’s ball right next to the hole gave Team Orange the outright lead for the first time. The next game was to the same hole and this time the children had worked out the speed of the green, which was extremely fast and downwind. Noah was the first to hole a putt, quickly followed up by Kuchar before Jacob Y’s holed putt narrowed the margin to one point in Team Grape’s favour.
The final game would decide the winner for the week. The putt was quite a challenge, covering over 20 metres and zig zagging its way down the slope. The contest was over pretty quickly as Kuchar’s putt looked to be a good line all the way and it was just a matter of if the ball had enough speed to get to the hole. With its last roll, the ball gently fell into the bottom of the hole much to the delight of Kuchar and all the people around the green to give Team Grape the victory. What a fantastic way to finish the first week back and let’s hope the high standard of that last putt is continued throughout the term program.
Sunday July 26th
Gold / Golf Course Ready Program
Week 2 of the Term 3 Gold program saw beautiful conditions again. This week the children got to do some work on their full swing. An analysis of each child’s technique was captured and they were then shown, on the big screen, what they needed to work on. A review would then be sent to them to make sure they implement the changes during the week and into the future.
After about 25 minutes of fine tuning and trying to implement the tweaks to their swing, it was time to challenge themselves by trying to get the ball into the bunker positioned in the middle of the range. This requires the children to hit the ball into the bunker, positioned about 70 metres away and about 4 metres wide and 4 metres long. Each child would have ten golf balls to try to get as many in the bunker as possible. There were many quality strikes and a lot of near misses. Everyone managed to get a ball into the bunker with the most successful being Kuchar with 5 and Jacob Y and Trent getting 3 each.
It was then time to head to the practice putting green to get in some quick team games. With the group only having seven participants this week, I asked the group who would like to go with who. Kuchar, ever being the confident putter that he is, declared he would challenge the rest of the team. I managed to convince him he needed some assistance, so he chose his tall mate Tom and Ethan to make up Team Kuchar and they would be against “The Rest of the World” team comprising Jacob Y, Jake, Noah and Trent.
The first putt was a similar putt to the first puttinggame the previous week and covered about seven metres. The rules were the same as the previous week and each child still had two golf balls to try to achieve success. Unlike last week, there was a holed putt this week and Trent gave “The Rest of the World” the perfect start, holing one of his two putts to give them a two-point lead after the first game. The second game was a putt of similar distance, but from a different angle and it looked like it would be a closest the pin contest, until one of Ethan’s putts couldn’t avoid the cluster of balls and unfortunately knocked Jacob Y’s ball into the hole to give “The Rest of the World” team a massive four-point buffer.
It would all come down to the final game and as always we would challenge the children with a longer putt, covering about 20 metres and with the last 6 feet of the putt down an extremely steep slope. After setting the bar high the previous week, Kuchar started off proceedings and his first putt was another brilliantly paced long range putt, that sat right on the left edge of the cup. Kuchar then turned his attention to his next ball, but before he had time to hit it, his first ball then decided to fall into the cup! Not to be outdone, Jacob Y then stepped up to the plate and levelled the hole by knocking in one of his putts as well. Then to finish off, Jake got in on the action and his putt would have settled in the middle of the cup, however, the other two balls already in the cup, kept his ball from falling! An amazing round of putting and something that should inspire all the children to practice this area of the game just as much as the long game to try to achieve such lofty standards. This gave “The Rest of the World” the victory for this week.