Sunday November 17th

Rookie / Beginner Program

Week 6 of the Rookie Term 4 Program saw conditions that resembled the middle of winter, not the middle of November.  Some children didn’t come prepared, whilst others wore some thick jackets that inhibited their golf swings, but kept them a bit warmer. 

Luckily the weather was much finer the week before, which enabled the children a chance to work on their full swing and some putting.  In the challenges, Sienna starred and got the ball in the bunker 5 times to win the first of the challenges for Team L, before Jarrah won a Nearest the Pin for Team.  Then his sister got the best of him in the last nearest the pin to win the challenge and the weekly event for Team L.

This week the weather got the better of us on 2 occasions where we all made hasty retreats to the warmth and comfort of the academy building.  On each of these occasions, all of the children got a chance to look at their swings in front of the whole group.  There were a few laughs with a couple of humorous attempts at swinging the club but also some praise for some good swings.

There was just enough time and break in the weather for a quick team challenge and the group was broken up into 3 groups.  Team R had Angus, Henry H and Henry W.  Team G had Annabelle, Olive and Sienna and Team L had Elizabella, Jarrah, Max and Oscar.   The aim of the game was to hit any of the three buckets placed approximately 20 metres in front of them.

Angus struck the first blow for Team R, quickly followed by both of the Henry’s to get them off to a flyer and have 4 points before any of the other teams had scored a point.  It was then the girls turn through Annabelle and Olive to close the gap, before Max got on a massive roll for Team L.  Two points in 2 consecutive shots showed that he had found his range but no-one could foresee what was to happen next.  After a couple of close misses, Max shot Team L to a commanding lead by setting a new benchmark of getting the ball in the bucket, which is rewarded with 5 team points!  A fantastic shot, which brought about looks of amazement from all the juniors.  Alas, Hugh (Max’s dad) missed the shot, as like the majority of the parents, was seeking shelter under the academy veranda.  Elizabella then got her first point, much to her excitement, to get Team L within 2 points of winning the match.

Team R and Team G, sensing the urgency to get some points, both got into the action, with Henry W scoring 2 points and Annabelle and Olive also securing a point each.  However, through Max’s bonus points, the margin was too great and after Max scored another point, it was left to Jarrah to secure the win with his first point for the game.

It was time to quickly pack everything up and maybe because he hadn’t been able to hit the bucket during the session, Oscar took it upon himself to wear the elusive bucket on his head.  For toughing it out in the trying conditions, all children were rewarded with the option of a chocolate or Super Dooper and despite the Arctic conditions there were still a few of the children who decided that a Super Dooper was the best way to warm themselves up.

Sunday November 24th

Rookie Program

Week 7 of the Rookie Term 4 Program saw the weather do a complete 360 from the previous week.  Not a cloud in the sky and the temperature hovering around 20 degrees.  There was also no wind to speak of, so perfect conditions for golfing.  Seeing that the weather was ideal for swinging a golf club, the children got to do some more work on their full swing.  Each of the children got to view their swing on the Hudl app and it has been great to see the progress made by all the children. 

After about 30 minutes of practicing, picking up balls and quite a few of the children having to go for runs for failing to remember the basic rules of the Program, it was time for the games section.  This week the group was broken up into three even groups of 4.  Team L consisted Angus, Jarrah, Jett and Thomas.  Team M had Brady, Henry W, Max and Olive, leaving Annabelle, Henry H, Oscar and Sienna to make up Team R.  Like last week the first Team game was to hit any of the three buckets placed in front of them.  With the weather being much kinder, the buckets were placed another 10 metres further away than the prior week.  This provided a very stern test for the children and it took a little while before any of the children started to find their range. 

The last person to score a point last week, Jarrah, which secured his team the win, struck the first blow this week for Team L.  Max (twice) and Olive then scored points for Team M to shoot them off to a commanding lead.  Sienna then scored 2 points in a row to tighten things back up, before Max once more showed his propensity for this game and scored another point, to get Team M within one point of winning the match and securing the first point of the games.  Jarrah got his game face on and scored 2 points in a row to keep things interesting, before Olive became this week’s match winner and secured their teams fifth point and the first game of the day, just before Angus secured another point.

It was then time to go onto the putting green and straight into more games.  Nearest the Pin were the games of choice.  The second game was to a pin about 25 feet away.  Henry W looked like he had secured another point for Team M, however, Sienna hadn’t finished putting and after playing a wonderfully controlled putt to within less than 1 foot from the hole, she had upset the celebrations of Team M and secured the first point for Team R.  The third game was to the same pin and hopefully the children had learnt the length of the stroke required to get close to the hole.  Unfortunately, the putts weren’t as good this time around, but Annabelle did enough to finish about 3 feet from the hole and secure another point for Team R., showing that more practice was required on the green.

The final game was a much longer proposition, about 50 feet, and carried 2 points for the win.  This meant that winning this game would secure a tie for Team L, whilst outright victory would be the reward for either Team M or R.  Despite having one fewer players for the last game, Sienna secured the nearest to the pin with a well-controlled putt to within 3 feet and get the extra chocolate for her Team.

Sunday November 17th

Silver Program

Week 6 of the Silver Term 4 Program saw very cool conditions but at least 5 degrees warmer than the earlier Rookie Program and luckily there was no more rain.  This week the children got to do some more fine tuning of their full swing.  After about 25 minutes it was time for the weekly Team Games.  The group was broken up into 2 teams, Team Juice consisting Ollie P and Ted and Team Jelly consisting Darby, Euan and Jas.

The first Team game was to hit any of the 2 buckets, placed about 30 metres in front of them.  Euan got Team Jelly off to a flyer by scoring the first 2 points, before Ollie took a fraction more time over the ball and levelled the scores back up with 2 points.  Ted was struggling to find his radar, which meant Ollie was playing a solo role for his team, meanwhile, Team Jelly were sharing the load and after Darby, aka “The Finisher”, scored the tenth point for Team Jelly, the first point was secured for Team Jelly.

The second game was trying to get the ball in the bunker.  With the hitting ropes up the front of the range the shot covered about 50 metres.  There was a catch to this week’s challenge, as the buckets were left out and in line with the bunker, meaning any poorly struck shots that struck a bucket would result in a 2-point penalty for the team.  Ted started to find his range with this shot and together with Ollie they scored the first 5 points of the game to get them off to a flyer.  However, after a few close calls from all the children, one of Ted’s shots grazed the edge of one of the buckets and that combined with Darby (twice) and Jas scoring points, all of a sudden, the game was tied up at 3 each.  Ted re-grouped from his mistake and with Ollie also starring, Team Juice secured the second game with a comfortable 10 – 6 score line.

The children then got to do a quick bit of work with their drivers before the next Team game.  The third game involved the need for accuracy with the driver.  To score a point, the ball had to carry at least 60 metres and go through a 20 metre window that was set for each of the children.  Jas got the ball rolling with a driver that was crushed down the middle, that was quickly followed by a well-struck drive from Darby.  Ted showed his exquisite driving skills and got on a roll scoring 4 of the next 5 points, meanwhile Ollie was struggling with his driver radar.  Team Jelly showed great team work again and spread the load evenly and after Ollie scored his first point, the scores were tied at 7 each.  Knowing the scoreboard, Euan and Jas both nailed drives down the middle before “The Finisher” stepped up again and secured the third game for Team Jelly.

The final game required an extremely precise pitch shot.  There were 2 hula hoops suspended from the ground and positioned about 30 metres away from the children.  The aim was to get the ball through the hoops to secure a point.  Due to the difficulty of the assignment the first team to 3 points would win the game and with the score line 2 – 1 in Team Jelly’s favour, the best Team Juice could hope for was a tie.  After about 10 attempts each, Euan got the first ball through the hoop before “The Finisher” stepped up and secured 2 more points and the victory for the day for Team Jelly.

Sunday November 24th

Silver Program

Week 7 of the Silver Term 4 Program saw the weather improve dramatically from the previous week.  Not a cloud in the sky and the temperature hovering around 20 degrees.  There was also no wind to speak of, so perfect conditions for golfing and doing some work on their full swing.  It was great to see Jake back after a few weeks out, due to a disagreement with some scissors (Ouch) and Sophie back after performing in Interclub Pennant for a few weeks.  After about 20 minutes of working on their swings, it was time for the first of the Team Games.  The group was split into 2 teams, Team Juice consisting Euan, Ollie and Ted, leaving Darby, Jake, Jas and Sophie to form Team Jelly.

The first Team game was “Hitting into the Bunker”.  The ropes were another 5 metres further away than the previous week, leaving the children with a shot of about 55 metres.  “The Finisher” scored the first point this week, before Ollie carried his fine performance of this shot from last week into this week and quickly levelled the scores.  Much like last week, Team Jelly performed well as a team again and through weight of numbers, Sophie secured the first point for Team Jelly with a comfortable 10 – 6 score line.  There were solid performances from all of the children with Darby and Sophie scoring 3 points each, while everyone else scored 2 points.

We then changed tact and went into the bunkers for the first time this term.  The children were run through the basic set up changes to achieve bunker success.  There were some excellent shots when the correct technique was used, despite some grumblings from some of the children about changing their technique (Jas!).  After about 20 minutes of practice and a few tweaks for all of the children it was time for one last Team game.

The children got to use 2 balls and were reminded that they can bend over and use their hands to put the ball onto a good lie, instead of just using their club and leaving the ball in its own impression.  Jas went to the other extreme and started to build a sand castle before a quick interjection.  The shot covered about 20 metres and a moderate size lip had to be cleared before plenty of green to the pin.  Euan played 2 superb bunker shots to get both balls closest to the pin with one of his shots finishing inside 2 feet from the pin.

This resulted in a quick playoff to decide the weekly winning team.  The children got to choose one player from each team to hit one bunker shot to a pin that was located a mere 5 metres from where they were situated, a very tough bunker shot to master.  Sophie was the choice for Team Jelly and due to a mixture of one of her teammates talking during her swing and the ball positioned too far back in her stance, made contact with the ball first, which saw it hit the lip and come back into the bunker.  Euan was left with the equation of getting the ball onto the green to win for Team Juice and played another exquisite shot to within 2 metres of the pin and secure victory.

On a separate note, Sophie recently played in the Girls Primary School Championship Regional Finals and played extremely well to finish 3rd overall.  Unfortunately, only the winner progressed to the State Finals but a wonderful achievement by Sophie.

Sunday November 17th

Gold Program

Week 6 of the Gold Term 4 Program saw pleasant but blustery conditions and it was time for the children to go onto the Beach course for a 4 hole Ambrose Matchplay.  The 2 teams were Bryce and Ethan versus Ollie L and Tom.

The first hole was from the White Tees and was into a strong breeze.  Most of the boys hit the fairway, with Ethan really nailing his drive and finishing a further 50 metres down the fairway than anyone else.  Ollie and Tom then hit solid fairway shots to be positioned on the fairway and within reach of the green.  Ethan struck his second shot solidly and it pulled up just short of the greenside bunker.  Tom’s third came agonisingly close to rolling up onto the green but slowly fed down into the collection area at the front of the green.  Both Bryce and Ethan’s flop shots over the bunker came out a bit hard, leaving the door ajar.  Ollie played a great chip and run to 6 feet and after Bryce and Ethan failed to get up and down, it was up to Tom to sink the 6 foot putt, which he did and gave Ollie and Tom a 1 up lead.

The second hole was played from the Yellow Tees.  Tom hit the best of the drives from his team, which ran through the fairway bunkers on the right and onto the edge of the fairway.  Ethan once again, nailed his drive just short of the left-hand fairway bunker.  Both Ollie and Tom played average second shots to still be about 70 metres away from the green.  Meanwhile, Ethan flushed an 8 iron that caught the slope at the front of the green and ended up only 7 metres from the flag.  The pressure was on Ollie and Tom and Tom came to the party with a great approach to within 5 metres of the flag.  Both teams 2 putted, which levelled the scores up.

The third hole was played from the White tees and the boys had to deal with a tricky cross breeze coming from the left-hand side.  All shots drifted to the right hand sided of the green.  From the tee it looked like Tom’s ball was on the edge of the fairway, however, when we got up to the green we found the ball to be in some thick rough and on a severe downslope.  This created a tricky situation, where Ollie did well to finish up just short of the green.  Ethan’s drive was in the best position but still left them with a tough pitch and run up the steep, false front of the green.  Bryce played a crisply struck pitch that ran up the green and to within 5 metres of the pin.  Tom then hit a great lag putt from just off the green to within 2 feet of the flag to look like the hole would be halved.  Ethan though had other ideas and duly held the 5 metre putt to give them a 1 up lead heading into the long par 5 finishing hole.

The final hole is always a challenge for most golfers, with well positioned bunkers all the way along the hole and a penalty area hugging the left-hand side of the fairway.  After Ethan pulled his drive slightly to the left and found one of the deep fairway bunkers, the pressure was on Bryce to come up with the goods.  With his nervous energy clearly on display, he saved his best drive for last and nailed the drive down the fairway and gave the “Bryce Fist Pump”.  Tom also nailed his drive so both teams were within a few metres of each other and in great positions.  The second shot doesn’t get any easier and both Bryce and Ollie safely negotiated the tricky shot.  Both teams played safely to the right-hand side with their third shots, leaving the all-important approach onto the green to possibly determine this week’s winner. 

Tom and Ollie were first to go and both players erred to the right hand, leaving themselves tough pitches over the bunker.  Meanwhile Ethan flushed his approach, which just rolled off the left side off the green, leaving a fairly routine up and down.  Both Ollie and Tom were a bit heavy handed with their pitches and ended up over the back of the green.  Bryce, once more, played a great little chip and run up the slope to within 5 feet, meaning either one of Ollie or Tom would have to hole their chips from over the back of the green to put some pressure on.  Ollie played a respectable chip that ended within 4 feet, but that meant 2 putts for Bryce and Ethan, which Bryce duly held in one to win the match 2 up. 

Sunday November 24th

Gold Program

Week 7 of the Gold Term 4 Program brought beautiful conditions, ideal for golf.  The children started off with some fine tuning of their bunker play.  After a few tweaks, the success rate was gradually improving, but that is not to say that they don’t have to practice it a lot more if they are to make bunker play easy.  After about 30 minutes of practice it was time to get into the weekly Team games.  The golf balls were tossed up to decide the teams and after the fall of the balls, the teams were Bryce and Tom versus Ethan, Noah and Ollie.

The first game was a fairly straightforward bunker shot to a flag about 20 metres away.  Ollie got the ball rolling by playing 2 solid shots, the closest one finishing within about 5 metres from the pin.  Bryce quickly looked to have bettered that and from the view in the bunker looked to be about 4 metres away.  After Ethan and Tom failed to better Bryce’s shot it was left to Noah’s last shot and when it rolled past the pin and stayed on the green, his team rejoiced, thinking it was closest to the pin.  As we all left the bunker to inspect the shots we, however, found that Bryce’s shot was closest and after a start of a measurement, the shot was conceded, to give Bryce and Tom the 1 up lead.

The second game was to a pin just tucked on the green, a mere 5 metres away from the hitting position.  Some impressive soft bunker shots ensued with Noah’s shot being the closest just from Ethan to level the scores up.  It was then time for some fine tuning of their full swing techniques and after about 15 minutes there was time for one more game to determine this week’s winners.

The last game was “Hitting into the Bunker”.  This time each child only had 5 balls to try to master the 55 metre shot.  Ethan got the ball in with his first shot before Tom got the scores back level with his 4th shot.  It wouldn’t last long and after Ethan also knocked a ball in with his 4th shot, it left Tom, with the last shot, to try to force a playoff.  A well struck wedge kept everyone interested but it came up just shy to give Ethan, Noah and Ollie the bragging rights for the week.

On a separate note, Ethan, Noah and Tom recently played in the Regional Finals of the State Primary School Championships.  All boys performed extremely well with Ethan qualifying for the State Finals and Noah and Tom missing qualifying by only 2 shots.  Well done to all of them and best of luck to Ethan on Wednesday in the State Finals.