Rookie Program

Week 3 of the Term 3 Program saw quite pleasant conditions and warm enough for Dan to wear shorts. This weeks attendees were Annabelle, Dan, Michael, Sienna and Ted. The children got to work on their pitch shots, using their sand wedges.
To give them some incentive there were 2 hula hoops positioned 2 feet off the ground and approximately 20 metres in front of them. The idea was to work on some basic technique to start off with and then attempt to get the ball through the hoops as often as possible. This seemed quite easy but as they quickly found out it could be very frustrating, especially to Ted who would let out shrieks of disappointment every time the ball narrowly missed. However, I am happy to say everyone got at least a ball through the hoop, including one from Michael that went through like a missile, which was not the ideal shot but still technically a ball through the hoop.
After about 20 minutes it was time for a Team Game. This week saw Dan and Michael versus Annabelle, Sienna and Ted. The challenge was to get 3 balls through the hoops and whoever achieved this first would be the winner team. Dan showed his experience and rattled the ball through the hoop three times very quickly, much to the amazement of the other team.
Then it was time to head to the range for some full swing work. Each child got to see their swings on the Hudl app and at the end of the session it was fantastic to see the improvement that had been made. With a few minutes left they got the chance to unleash some fury with the drivers before finishing the session with either a chocolate or Super Dooper.
Next week we will be working on putting before finishing off with some more full swing work.

Silver Program

Week 3 of the Term 3 Program saw beautiful conditions for this time of the year. This week the children got to freshen up their pitching skills.
They all got a chance to look at their swings and were then shown what they had to work on. To give them some incentive there were 2 hula hoops positioned 2 feet off the ground and approximately 20 metres in front of them. The idea was to work on some basic technique to start off with and then attempt to get the ball through the hoops as often as possible. Each time a ball went through they were very keen to let me know and there were quite a few early calls that ended in disappointment.
After about 30 minutes the group was broken up into 2 teams. Seeing that there were 9 it was a difficult split and George was the man in the middle. The end decision to which team George would be in was determined by a flip of my phone. After 3 flips of my phone and a lot of confusion George found a team. The teams were Team A consisting Alex, Bryce, George, Jas and Sophie versus Team B who had Conor, Daniel, Jake and Luke.
The first game was hitting the same shot they had just been working on, getting the ball through the hoop from 20 metres, the first team to 5 would win the first game. All the time spent working out who George would be sided with, could have been decided by making the teams George versus the rest as he put on a talent show hitting both high and low shots through the hoop to get all 5 done before anyone else had opened the account. Alex then came up with one of his calls again “MVP George”. George then moved to Team B to give them a chance of levelling the scores.
The second game was the same shot again. This time it as a much closer contest and the change of direction, by having to hit to the hoop on the left instead of the right, must have upset George as he only got 1 through. His teammates however, picked up the slack with everyone getting the ball through once, whilst Sophie was almost single handedly keeping her team in the contest getting 3 balls through to make the game score 5 – 3 and tie the games at 1 all.
For the final game the hoops were moved another 10 metres further back making the challenge even tougher. The two teams went to toe to toe with each other and after a few shots the balls started to go through the hoops again. Firstly George found his range again, then Alex finally relaxed the nerves enough to level the scores. From here it quickly became a challenge between Conor for Team B and Sophie for Team A. The following sequence occurred, Conor, Sophie, Sophie, Conor, Sophie, Conor before both of them hit through the hoop at nearly the same time. As there was no 3rd umpire to send a referral, and there was no definite way of deciding which ball went through first, a quick playoff ensued. This time Sophie’s ball came closest to the hoops to narrowly give Team A the bragging rights for the week.
Next week we will be working on putting.

Gold Program

Week 3 of the Term 3 Program saw the children get onto the Creek course and play 4 holes. This was a great opportunity to get the feel of what to do amongst a busy field, as there were groups behind and in front of the children. They got to learn key aspects to assist them in keeping up with the pace of play, which is a must for all golfers. Some of the tools they were taught included;
  • Where to position their buggies, tee box, fairway and green positioning.
  • Reducing practice swings to 1, when it is their turn to hit, and
  • Moving to the next tee box, once you have putted out.
The children also got to learn a bit of course management and a few of the basic rules of golf. The game to be played was 2 Person Ambrose Matchplay, with the teams the same as last week (Ethan and Ollie v Noah and Tom). The junior course (yellow markers) was the choice for the day.
The first hole measures 250 metres and requires an accurate tee shot to avoid the masses of bunkers positioned both right and left of the fairway. Ethan showed the way bombing his drive about 200 metres down the fairway to finish about 50 metres from the pin. Meanwhile Tom’s drive just caught the edge of the last fairway bunker on the left hand side, about 100 metres from the pin. A tough bunker shot ensued and both boys just caught the lip of the bunker but ended up on the fairway. From here they both pulled their approaches into the green side bunker. Ethan and Ollie pulled out their mid irons to hit pitch and run shots to the front pin and even though Ethan’s shot was a groove or two low on the face, the ball finished up inside 5 metres from the pin. Tom played a great bunker shot that checked up and finished inside 4 metres to be on the green in 4. Despite Ethan and Ollie both 3 putting they still did enough to go 1 up in the match.
The second hole measures 350 metres and has bunkers positioned strategically all the way to the green. Both Ethan and Noah sent their drives deep down the fairway. Noah and Tom held a slight advantage being in the green side bunker for 3, however, some messy work around the greens allowed Ethan and Ollie to win the hole with a bogey and go 2 up.
The third hole gave the children a chance to get onto the green in 1. The hole measures 130 metres and has bunkers short and left of the green. Ollie hit a great hybrid to end up just off the front of the green, while both Noah and Tom left their shots short and left of the green, leaving themselves in very tricky positions. However, both of them played exquisite chip and run shots, through the gully and inside 4 metres to keep them in the hole. Ethan and Ollie didn’t use their A game with their approach putts, but 2 putts each was enough to halve the hole and give them victory.
The final hole measures 300 metres and is a dog leg left, with fairway bunkers covering the corner of the dog leg. After 2 shots each, Ethan and Ollie were positioned about 110 metres out and Noah and Tom about 50 metres closer. Ollie played the shot of the day with his laser like 7 iron finishing within 3 metres from the pin.  Not to be outdone Tom and Noah played great pitch and runs to both finish within 3 metres. After both teams 2 putted we started the long way back to the academy.
A great start from the group, but one thing that was glaringly obvious, was the need to work on short game, which will be a heavy emphasis in the next 2 weeks.