Sunday October 13th

Rookie / Beginner Program

The first week of the new Rookie Term Program saw some lovely calm conditions, apart from the mosquitos. With a full program it was great to see some regular faces as well as 7 new attendees.

After being run through the basic safety rules and what the penalties were for not abiding by them each child was shown the basics of the grip and set up for a short swing. Part of the set up was getting the children to stand with their feet shoulder width apart and it was quite rare to not see any of them think their shoulders were twice as wide as what they really are.

It is important to teach children short swings to get them to have a better understanding of what is required through the impact zone before progressing to the full swing. After a brief description, they got to swing the club at the ball. Most made contact early, with everyone enjoying the adrenalin rush of a good shot and the mixed emotions of a missed shot.

After 30 minutes the group was broken up into 2 groups. Team L had Brady, Euan, Jarrah, Jett, Olive and Thomas whilst Team R had Isabelle, Henry H, Henry W, Jimmy, Oscar and Sienna. During the session we had 5 games of Nearest the Pin. The first game was up a steep slope to a pin positioned less than 3 metres onto the green, the shot covered about 20 metres. Team L looked certain to go one up until Henry W, with the last shot of the game, played a magnificent shot, which rebounded off the pin and finished a few inches away to give Team R the 1 – 0 lead.

The second game was to the same pin and the contest was over early as Euan showed some fantastic technique to put his approach against the pin and level the score 1 all. The next game was to a pin a further 10 metres onto the green and in a far more user-friendly location.   This time it was Sienna’s turn to shine and with a well-controlled pitch and run to just get closer to the pin than Jarrah’s shot and regain the lead 2 – 1 for Team R.

The fourth game was to the same pin and with Team L needing to win to send the match into a deciding game, Jet, one of our youngest participants, played a sweetly struck pitch to within 2 metres and level the match 2 all.

The deciding game was to a pin another 5 metres deeper on the green. The winner would take all and win either a chocolate or Super Dooper for each of the winning team. The nerves might have got to a few of the children, as there were a few shaky attempts. But not for Olive, who saved her best til last and watched on as her approach finished within 1 metre and beating all to give Team L the comeback victory.

As everyone behaved extremely well, each child got a chocolate or Super Dooper of their choice. Next week we will progress to the full swing. 

Silver / Intermediate Program

The first week of the Silver Term 4 Program saw quite pleasant and much warmer conditions than Term 3, even warm enough for me to shed my beanie!

It was great to see the regular faces of Jake, Ollie P and Sophie, whilst we welcomed back Daisy and Darby from their Term 3 holidays, and also welcomed recent graduates from the Rookie Program, Dan and Ted.

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 everybody had forgotten the clinic rules, except Sophie, and were forced to do more than one run to the bush and back. This task is normally an easy task for the children, however, this is magpie swooping season and the children had to run fast and also keep an eye out for the cunning magpie.

After about 30 minutes we moved into our team game time. This week’s teams were split into 2. Team L consisted Daisy, Dan and Sophie, whilst Team R had the extra number and consisted Darby, Jake, Ollie and Ted. The games for the session were Nearest the Pin.

The first game was up a steep slope to a pin positioned less than 3 metres onto the green, the shot covered about 20 metres. Daisy showed the benefit of a couple of school holiday programs to give Team L the first point with a well-executed chip and run to 3 feet. The next game was to the same pin and Dan this time showed he wasn’t overawed by the step up to the Silver Program and played an exquisite chip and run to 1 foot, to give Team L an early 2 – 0 lead.

The third game was to a pin positioned a further 5 metres deeper onto the green. Daisy kept the Team L domination rolling by getting just inside Teds shot, finishing 6 feet from the pin. The next game was to the same pin and after rushing his set up, like he sometimes can, Ollie finally got Team R on the board after a strike that is not normally up to his high standards.

The fifth game was to a pin right at the back of the long green, giving the children the dilemma of how to play the shot. Jake continued the fightback for Team R, just getting inside Dan’s shot and finishing inside 3 metres to get the score back to 3 – 2. The next game was from the same spot and Sophie played the shot of the day, a pure pitch to within 2 feet to regain the momentum for Team L.

It all came down to the final game, a perilous short pitch over the bunker to a pin located only 3 metres from the bunker edge. Seeing the difficulty of the shot, this game carried 2 points. There were some excellent flop shots but once again Sophie came to the fore and sealed the win for Team L.

Next week we will do some full swing check-ups before game time.

Gold Program

The first week of the Gold Term 4 Program saw beautiful conditions. This term we welcomed back the inaugural Gold Program group of Ethan, Ollie L, Noah and Tom, whilst also welcoming a new graduate from the Silver Program, Bryce.

Like the other programs before them, we started off the Term 4 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. The only thing that they had forgotten were some of the clinic rules and they were all sent for a run at some stage.

An analysis of each child’s technique was captured and sent to them to make sure they implement the changes during the week and into the future.

After a little bit of tweaking their set ups and techniques it was time for the weekly team games. This week we had Team L comprising Bryce, Ethan and Tom and Team comprising Ollie and Noah.

The game of choice for the week was Nearest the Pin. The first game was up a steep slope to a pin positioned less than 2 metres onto the green, the shot covered about 20 metres. Bryce opened up his Gold Program points tally nice and early with a precisely played chip up the slope to within 2 feet of the pin to give Team L the first point of the new program. As he has shown throughout all the junior programs, Bryce expressed his enthusiasm with a fist pump.

The next game was to the same pin and this time Team R showed how it was done with both Noah and Ollie getting the closest balls to the pin, with Noah’s chip and run the closest, finishing within 1 foot of the pin to level the scores at 1 all.

The third game was to the pin at the back of the green. The shot covered about 40 metres and the children were run through the options of playing such a shot. They could take the aerial route and try to land the ball well up the green (which all juniors love seeing) or play the higher percentage option of a pitch and run shot up the long green. There was a mixture of choices but Team L got the important lead due to a well struck sand wedge from Ethan, who had been a little bit off his high standards.

This lead to the final game and Team R needed to win to halve the match. The game was to the same pin. Tom put the writing on the wall early by pitching to about 10 feet, before putting a nail in the coffin by playing a crisply struck pitch to within 1 metre to give Team L the win for the week.

On a separate note, congratulations to Ethan, Noah and Tom who played in a couple of Regional Qualifying Events for the Primary School Championships and all of them played well and qualified for the next stage.

Next week we will be doing some fine tweaking on the full swing.