Sunday November 3rd
Week 4 of the Rookie Term Program saw very pleasant conditions and the mosquitos must have got news that there was going to be a large group of juniors practicing in the short game area, as there were swarms of them. Luckily Oscar and myself had some Repellant to use, which all the children and parents used to delay the mosquito fleet for a little while.
This week the children got to re-visit the technique required for short game success. After a brief summary of the technique, the children set about trying to hit the pins on the green. There was the occasional success, which would be followed by some excited screams. After a round of picking up the balls, Elisabella and Jarrah forgot one of the basic rules and had to go for a run to the tree and back.
It was then time for the start of the Team Games. This week they were broken into 2 groups, Team L consisting Annabelle, Jett, Oscar, Sophie and Thomas and Team R consisting Brady, Elisabella, Jarrah, Max and Olive. The first game was Nearest the Pin that required a chip and run shot up the steep slope and onto the green, the shot covered about 25 metres. Olive held the lead for most of the game until Oscar, with the second last shot, awoke from his obsession with the mosquito spray to play a great chip and run to within 3 feet of the pin. All this came after he somehow played a trick shot, with his previous shot, that went behind the rest of his group. Jarrah, as he so often does, waited to be the last shot to see what he had to beat, and after a well-struck shot went between Oscar’s ball and the pin, there was hope of victory. Alas, the ball trickled just a little bit further than desired and Oscar’s ball won the first point for Team L.
We then changed stations and went to work on putting. A brief description of the basic fundamentals of the set up was followed by some learning stations set up for all of the children. This would assist them in getting the correct length of the stroke and the proper arc.
After about 15 minutes it was time to play the final 2 games of the session. Nearest the Pin was the option again and the first putt covered about 10 metres. It took a few putts before the children acclimatised to the longer stroke required to get the ball to the hole. However, Annabelle claimed the game and the win for Team L, with a well-controlled putt that finished within 2 feet of the pin to narrowly finish inside of Brady’s putt.
The last game entailed a putt of a similar length but down and across a slope to give a stiff challenge to the children. Max, however, was able to salvage some respect for Team R, finishing inside all comers and only 3 feet away.
All children got to have their reward at the end of the session, with Super Doopers being a popular choice.
Sunday November 3rd
Week 4 of the Silver Term Program saw quite humid conditions, but luckily a bit of wind came early in the session to send most of the mosquitos away.
This week the children got to do some more work on their evolving swings, with some finding it a different challenge having to hit off the grass instead of the synthetic turf.
After about 20 minutes it was time for the start of the Team Games. The group was broken up into 2 teams. Team L comprising Dan, Darby, and the Panknin brothers, Daniel, Luke and Michael. Team R consisted Euan, Henry W, Ollie P, Sophie and Ted.
The first game was the “Hitting into the bunker” game, that all the children love, which was a much easier assignment than usual. This was due to the hitting area being at the start of the dip and only about 30 metres from the bunker, less than half the normal distance.
It was clear early on that all the children appreciated being closer to the bunker and after a hectic 2 minutes, the children had to pause to enable me to catch up with who had got the balls into the bunker. It was then decided that the children would have to yell out when they got a ball in, and with the parents looking on, only shots that finished in the bunker were enthusiastically passed on. After less than 5 minutes, time was called for a points score, and amazingly the scores were 10 all, with Dan leading the points tally with 4, closely followed by Ted and Henry with 3 each. This led to a decision being made that the team with the next 2 points would win the first game.
Sophie got the first ball in to give Team R the lead before Darby awoke from his slumber and scored 2 points in a row to give Team L a 1 – 0 lead.
We then changed to the Putting station and after some quality practice, with some alignment sticks used to show the correct arc and length of stroke, it was time to continue the Team Games. Nearest the Pin was the game of choice and the first game was to a pin about 15 metres away.
A few of the early birds took a little while to get used to the longer length of the putt, leaving the balls well short of the desired target. The later comers learnt from the early players and started controlling their distance better and with one player on each team left to hit, it was too close to determine who was the closest and a measure off looked likely. That was until Luke stepped up to the plate and created all types of confusion. Luke struck his putt very firmly and his ball was set to race past the pin, however, in his direct line laid a golf ball, and his ball struck the other ball flush on and sent that ball into the hole. Team L jumped up into the air in celebration thinking that it was Ollie’s ball that went into the hole, alas, after some consultation amongst the gallery, it was determined that the golf ball was in fact Darby’s and much to the disappointment of Team L, gave Team R an unassailable lead. Normally this would be a penalty on the golf course, but not in our Junior Team Games.
The final game was a monstrous putt of well over 25 metres and would test all of the children, with the putt being such a challenge, the game would carry 2 points, meaning Team L could salvage a draw with victory. Daniel controlled his putt well to end up within 5 feet of the pin. This left Sophie, the veteran of the team at 10 years of age, with the unenviable task of getting her putt inside Daniel’s ball. After plenty of advice from her teammates, her putt came up a bit shy and to the right of the hole. With one more ball to go, even more advice came from all of her team, but even though her second attempt ended up closer to the hole, it finished just outside Daniel’s ball. With only Luke left to hit, maybe scarred by the last putt, he decided to hit both putts just a few feet so as to not risk hitting his teammates golf ball away. This gave Team R the clear victory for the week, however, all children got to enjoy the winnings and got a chocolate or Super Dooper.
Sunday November 3rd
Week 4 of the Gold Term Program saw lovely conditions with a little bit of breeze and some cloud cover to reduce the effect of the sun. This week the children got to do some more work on their full swing, after getting the chance to play on the course last week.
With the warmer weather and some grass growth starting to happen, the children got to hit off the fairway instead of the synthetic mat. The children got to fine tune their swings and check up on the progress of them.
Ethan showed that he has been putting in the hard yards lately and was generally striking the ball very well. His main focus being on staying in a forward flex position for longer in the down swing and of course swinging his arms to the left, post impact. When this was achieved the results are a straighter ball flight and more consistency
Ollie L showed that he had done some quality practice during the week, which was great to see, and had improved quite a bit from last week’s ball striking. If he continues to do the work during this week and in coming weeks, then he will soon achieve the consistency he desires. It takes a few swings into each session for him to remember the best take away (more upright and less behind the body) for him to achieve success and when he does this his ball striking is much better.
Bryce, maybe still enamoured by his shiny new golf clubs, slipped into some old habits and took a few swings to switch back on. Once he did, some of his results were excellent and the ball was definitely travelling further. A new pre-shot routine was set up for him to ensure he is always in the best position to start with. With his clubs being a bit longer than the past clubs it will take him a little bit of time to get used to the feeling of not having to drop his body to the ground so much to make contact, but when he does this his swing is moving in the right direction.
Tom admitted to not having a swing during the week and this affected his early performance. We identified a slight change to his backswing to encourage a shallower angle of attack. This became very evident after one of his early strikes, brought up the sight of an unusual object in the ground. After some more probing from all the children it was found to be a small limestone rock and the children duly dug it out and moved it away so that no-one would have any further issues with it. Once Tom implemented the change in the backswing, he noticed a higher ball flight when he got the timing right and some bright hope for the future, if he continues to do some more work away from the program.
The children then moved to the putting green where we did some more work on their putting. As putting is such an important facet of the game, we spent quite a bit of time on all 4 stations that were set up to achieve some success. The station that gave the best feedback was the Visio Mi Putting Template. This gives the children some instant feedback on how the putter face should behave in the stroke, whilst also giving them an indicator of stroke length back and forth.
Next week we will do some more work on pitching and putting so that the children are ready for the Regional School Championships on the following Tuesday. Best of luck to all of them!