Sunday May 31st

Rookie / Beginner Program

Week 2 of the Rookie Term 2 Program saw the weather improve considerably from the prior week, however, the gentle breeze kept the temperature down.  The full group of children attended, which is always great to see.

This week the children got to do some work on their shorter swings, pitch shots.  The technique change was explained to the children and then after a few big swings a majority of the group adapted to the shorter, more controlled technique required to get the ball close to the pin.  After about 20 minutes of training, the group was broken up into 2 teams.  Team Juice consisted Eloise, Jacob, Oscar and Thomas G and they were pitted against Team Jelly who had Harrison, Hayden, Lachie, Sam and Tombob teaming up to see who would be this week’s victors.

The game of choice today was “Nearest the Pin”.  The children were given 10 golf balls and the pin was located about 20 metres away and in a precarious position, a mere 3 metres past the big dip at the front of the green.  It didn’t take too long for the children to acclimatise to the shot and Hayden scored the first point for Team Jelly with a great pitch that finished a mere 2 feet from the pin.

The second game was to the same pin and maybe the children were really focusing on their technique, but nobody yelled out when they got a ball close to the pin.  There were about five balls all situated about 4 to 5 feet from the pin and a measurement was required to see who had the closest ball.  Thomas G put his hand up as the winning ball to level the scores at 1 all.

The third game required the children to either swing the club back a bit further or change their club.  As expected the chance to swing the club back further was the option for everyone!  The pin was located a further ten metres away, safely in the middle of the green.  The youngest member of the group, Harrison, swung away (anything near full swing is his preferred option) to get the ball with 5 feet of the pin and looked like regaining the lead for Team Jelly, until Thomas G, with the last shot of the group snuck his ball just closer to the pin to give Team Juice the lead for the first time.

There was time for one more game and the same pin was used.  After everyone had completed their ten golf balls, there were two golf balls that, to the naked eye, looked the same distance from the pin, one from either team, Jacob from Team Juice and Hayden from Team Jelly.  After an extremely close measure, Team Juice were acknowledged as the winners by a mere inch.  The children got to enjoy the after-game treats and with the weather being slightly warmer, quite a few opted for a Super Dooper.

Sunday June 7th

Rookie / Beginner Program

Week 3 of the Rookie Term 2 Program saw a typical winter morning, cold, breezy and the occasional light shower.  Some of the children came more prepared than others.  This week the children got to do their favourite two things, smash a driver and see the ball go in the hole on the putting green.

We started off with a brief explanation of the changes required to the set up for driver success.  Then it was time for each of the children to get into smashing the 30 golf balls they were allocated.  It was great to see that there were only one or two ballerina swings happening and some good techniques.  Each of the children had a swing captured on the Hudl app for them to look at during the week and were given a basic thing or two to work on during this time.

After about 20 minutes we packed up the clubs and moved stations to the practice putting green.  There were 3 training aids set up at each of the holes to give the children some guidance with their putting stroke.  They were Putting plane board, Alignment mirror and Pathway to success tee block.  They were given a brief introduction of the set-up changes and more importantly the swing changes needed for putting.  Two of the most important are not using the hips and making sure that if we swing the club back a certain distance that they follow through the same distance.  At the end of the training I asked the children one by one if they should hit the ball harder for the ball to go further or swing the club back and through more but at the same speed.  As expected a majority of the children chose hit harder, but 3 of the children guessed the correct answer of back and through more.

With about ten minutes remaining the group was broken up into 2 teams for the Team Games section.  Team Juice consisted Eloise, Felix, Henry, Jacob and Oscar and they would be against Team Jelly comprising Hayden, Max, Tom G, Tombob and Sam.  The first game gave the children two golf balls each to try to either hole the putt or finish closest to the hole, which was situated about 5 metres away.  There were many putts that either burnt the edge or lipped out, but with quite a few balls also finishing close to the hole a measurement was required and Jacob’s ball was announced the winner by a mere centimetre, to give Team Jelly the first point.

The second game was to a much tougher pin.  The putt covered about 8 metres and was perched on a mound, meaning the putt fell severely from left to right.  Most of the children failed to allow for the fall and missed to the right, but Felix stroked a magnificent putt that looked like going in before just falling to the right of the cup and giving Team Juice the victory.

Sunday May 31st

Silver / Intermediate Program

Week 2 of the Silver Term 2 Program saw a beautiful, sunny morning to finish the Autumn season.  This Sunday was all about fine tuning the short game.  We started off with some short pitching training, where the children were explained one by one the changes they needed to make to create a consistent technique.

After about 20 minutes of training, it was time to get into the team games section.  The “Juice Crew” were keen to exact revenge from the prior week so the groups were broken into the original “Juice Crew” and the “Jelly Dancers”.  The “Juice Crew” consisted Euan, Harvey, Louis and Ollie, whilst the “Jelly Dancers” had Daisy, Jas, Lola and Sophie, with Jake missing from action this week.

The game of choice was “Nearest the Pin”.  The children were given 10 golf balls and the pin was located about 20 metres away and in a precarious position, a mere 3 metres past the big dip at the front of the green. The first round would see some great shots, but Ollie P (always the ultimate competitor) came out just in front finishing less than 1 foot from the pin to give team Juice a 1-0 lead.

The second game was to the same pin and this time it was the “Jelly Dancers” turn to level the scoreboard after Sophie’s precise pitch finished right near the pin.

The third game required the children to either swing the club back a bit further or change their club.  A couple of the children changed clubs but most went for the linger swing option.  The pin was located a further ten metres away, safely in the middle of the green.  Team Juice would come out ahead on this occasion due to a great bit of fortune when Harvey’s shot, which was about to speed past the pin, was slowed down in its tracks by a golf ball coming from a different direction.  The result ended up seeing his golf ball about 1 metre from the pin!

It was then time for some bunker practice.  The children were reminded of the changes in set up to get the ball out of the bunker successfully.  There was quite a bit of rust and a bit of a struggle for the majority of the group.  After about 15 minutes of practice there was time for one more quick game.  The last game gave the children 1 golf ball to get out of the bunker to a pin located about 15 metres away.  Team Juice redeemed themselves from the prior week to come out victors with Ollie P’s ball being one of only 3 golf balls out of the bunker.  When we visit the bunkers again, hopefully we see that the children have done some practice to hone the skill of bunker play.

Sunday June 7th

Silver / Intermediate Program

Week 3 of the Silver Term 2 Program greeted the children with an icy wind off the ocean, still not enough to stop Louis from wearing shorts.  This week the children got to do their favourite part of golf, smash some drivers down the range, before going to the other end of the game and working on their putting.

I was very happy to see that even though the children were trying to create some great clubhead speed and hit the ball a long way, they were nearly always finishing nice and balanced and in really good positions (well at least when I was watching them).  They all had their swings captured on the Hudl app and a review sent to them for some work to be done during the week.  They were also given a couple of things to work on during the session to create the long booming drives that everyone yearns for.

After about 25 minutes, it was time to change stations and head over to the practice putting green to check on everyone’s putting strokes.  There were 3 training aids set up at each of the holes to give the children some reminders of what is needed to have a consistent putting stroke.  The aids were Putting plane board, Alignment mirror and Pathway to success tee block.  They were given a reminder of the set-up changes needed for putting and shown how to use the aids.  At the end of the training I asked the children one by one if they should hit the ball harder for the ball to go further or swing the club back and through more but at the same speed.  Unfortunately, a majority of the children chose hit harder but 4 of the children guessed the correct answer of back and through more.  Hopefully when they get asked this again, the 8 that chose incorrectly, will remember the correct answer!

With about 10 minutes left in the session there was time for two quick Team Games.  The group was broken into 3 teams; Team Juice – Daisy, Harvey, Jack and Lola.  Team Jelly – Euan, Harry, Jas and Louis.  Team Jam – Campbell, Jake, Ollie and Sophie.  The first game saw a putt covering about 7 metres and each child had 2 golf balls to try to hole the putt or finish as close as they could to the hole.  There were some good strokes made a couple of putts that lipped out but no one was able to hole out.  With 2 golf balls lying right next to each other Team Jam got the first point with Ollie’s golf ball awarded the closest by the smallest of margins.

The final game saw a tricky, snaking putt from left to right and covering about 10 metres.  Team Jam were announced as the victors for the week after Sophie cosied the ball up a few inches away from the hole.  The thing I learnt from the session is that all the children need some more putting practice (like the rest of us) so next week we will be working on some full swing before re-visiting the putting green.

Sunday May 31st

Gold Program

Week 2 of the Gold Term 2 Program saw ideal conditions for golf and gave the children a chance to work on their short game.  We started off with some pitching training and I was glad to see that there were some excellent techniques being shown by all children with just a tweak or two required to fine tune contact.

After about 20 minutes of practice the group was broken up into the same 2 teams as the previous week.  Team Juice comprised Fraser, Jake, Juntas and Tom G and they were pitted against Team Jelly, who had Ethan, Jacob and Noah teamed together to try to achieve success and redemption for last week’s loss.

The game of choice was “Nearest the Pin”.  Each child got 10 golf balls (and only 10, I check to see if any spare golf balls are stashed away) to try to achieve the desired result.  The first game covered about 20 metres and was to a pin located about 3 metres past the false front at the start of the green.  The children had to use something like a 7 iron and play a “St Andrews Special” chip and run shot up the slope as a lob shot would see the ball run on too far.  Fraser surprised himself with a delightful chip that ended up less than 1 foot from the pin to give Team Juice the early lead.

The second game was to a much friendlier pin, located about 30 metres away and safely in the middle of green.  Most of the children changed clubs and went for their sand wedge to hit a lofted pitch.  There were many balls surrounding the pin but Tom G kept the lefty roll happening after his ball was declared the closest after a close measurement, just from Jacob’s.

It was then time for some bunker practice.  Once again there were some excellent techniques on display and golf balls ending up near the pins.  One by one the children were run through a couple of changes they required to create a successful technique and a majority quickly adapted.

With a few minutes remaining, there was time for one more game and with the shot coming from the bunker there were double points up for grabs.  This meant that Team Jelly could square the match up with a successful attempt.  The shot covered less than 6 metres to a pin located only 3 metres on the green (a challenge for most) and each child had two golf balls to try to get the closest.  There were some fantastic shots played by all children, and everyone got at least one ball on the green, however, Team Jelly’s domination continued as the youngest member of the group, Jake, played a little spinner to within inches of the pin to give his team the bragging rights again.

Sunday June 7th

Gold Program

Week 3 of the Gold Term 2 Program saw a typical winter day, some patches of brilliant sunshine mixed with bitingly cold showers.  This week the children got do some work on their driving before doing some fine tuning on their putting.

One by one the children were filmed and brought into the relatively warm environment of the academy building to be shown their full swings on the big screen.  They were given something to tweak to try to gain maximum distance and consistency. 

After about 25 minutes of training, amid some stoppages for rain, it was time to change stations and head to the practice putting green.  There were 3 training aids set up for the children to work on and the putting strokes quickly evolved to match the training aids goals.

With about ten minutes left in the session the group was broken up into 3 teams; Team Juice – Ethan and Juntas.  Team Jelly – Fraser and Tom G.  Team Jam – Jacob Y and Noah.  The first game saw a pretty straight putt covering about 8 metres.  There were a few close misses and the hole had a few balls around it.  Under our “Lawn Bowls rules”, golf balls are left where they sit and you have to negotiate your way around them as the shots mount.  This worked out a treat for Tom G, as with the last putt of the round he hit Ethan’s ball, which was positioned just to the side of the hole and rebounded into the hole to give Team Jelly the first point.

The second game was to the same hole and with no early putts going in there was a barrier of golf balls set up in front for the juniors to try to negotiate, this time noone could negotiate past the other golf balls and into the hole, with Juntas’s golf ball declared the closest by the smallest margin.

The final game was a long putt covering over 15 metres and as such carried double points, meaning that whichever team won the hole would be the victors for the week.  The contest was over early as Juntas, wielding his new putter with aplomb, knocked in the long-range bomb to give Team Juice the victory.

Next week we will venture onto the course during the week before doing some more full swing work and putting on the Sunday.