Rookie Program

Sunday October 20th

Sunday saw cool, cloudy conditions that saw the beanie back out and most parents well rugged up.

After a brief run through of the safety rules and a description of the differences between pitching and full swing, the children got to work on their full swings.  There were some impressive swings on display and everyone flushed a few down the range.  They were also shown their individual swings on the “Hudl” app and given a couple of main things to work.

About 30 minutes into the session and it was time for the game time portion of the clinic.  This week’s game was “Smash the Bucket”.  There were 3 buckets positioned about 20 metres in front of the children and the aim was to hit any of the buckets and in doing so get a point for your team or be the hero and try to get the extremely tough challenge of landing the Ball in the bucket and get 5 points for the team.

The group was broken up into 3 teams. Team L comprising Annabelle, Euan, Jarrah, Olive and Sienna.  Team M Henry W, Jett, Jimmy, Oscar and Thomas and Team R Brady, Elisabella, Henry H and Max.

Most of the children took a little while to realise that they didn’t need to use a full swing to achieve success, with quite a number of balls flying over the buckets.  However, once it clicked in, the points started to accumulate at such a rate that I couldn’t keep up entering them into my phone.

The contest was close all the way and every child hit a bucket at least once, with Max leading all comers by hitting the bucket 4 times, after being the quickest to adapt to the shorter swing.  However, it was Team L which utilized the best team work and ended up being the first to get to 10 points.

The children were exceptionally well behaved and there was only a couple of children who had to go for a run.  As a result, they all got to have their choice of a chocolate or Super Dooper.

Sunday October 27th

Week 3 of the program saw even cooler conditions than the previous week and everyone was rugged up apart from Brady who obviously doesn’t feel the cold as much as I do ( 2 jackets and beanie compared to his shorts and t shirt).  Maybe due to the cold weather, and other events clashing, the numbers were smaller this week with 8 children attending.

This week we re-visited the full swing so as to keep the joints moving.  After about 25 minutes we moved into Team Games mode.  This week we played “Smash the Bucket” again.

The group was broken up into 2 teams, Team L consisting Henry H, Jett, Max and Thomas and Team R comprising Annabelle, Brady, Henry W and Sienna.

Most of the children remembered that they didn’t need to swing the back that far to be able to hit the bucket, with Thomas deciding against the short swing option and trying to land the ball in the bucket.

The two teams went head to head all the way, trading blows like Heavyweight boxers, with Team R always holding a slender lead, but with the scores at 8 – 7, the match could have gone either way until Henry W closed off the match by hitting the bucket twice in a row to win the first match 10 – 7.  Team R had an even split with Brady and Annabelle leading the way with 3 points each, whilst Max was the leading point scorer for Team L with 4 points.

After a quick pick up of the balls (some more enthusiastic than others) it was time for the second match.

Seeking retribution, Team L got off to a flying start and Jett also opened up his points account, which made him momentarily forget about hitting balls as he was all too keen to let his mum and dad know all about the shot.  With Team L leading 8 – 5, it would take a special effort for Team R to win the second match.  With the competitive juices kicking in Sienna and Henry W went on a roll and took the lead 9 – 8 before Max hit back with a point to level the match.  This meant that the next point would win the match and it didn’t take long again for someone to hit the bucket and this time it was Sienna to win the match and the day for Team R.

This time it was Henry W and Sienna with 4 points each, that showed how well they played as a team.  Meanwhile Max and Henry H lead the way with 3 points each for Team L, in a heart-breaking loss.

With about 15 minutes left the children got to learn about the set-up changes required to hit the driver, before unleashing some powerful swings onto the ball and smashing some drives down the range.

Once again, all participants were well behaved and got a chocolate or Super Dooper.

Next week will see the children learning the basics of putting, before some short shots around the green.


Silver Program

October 20th

Week 2 of the Term 4 Silver Program saw quite pleasant conditions, though a little on the cooler side. 

This week the children got to refine their full swing and hopefully the cobwebs that were very evident in week 1 were well and truly gone.  After about 30 minutes of full swing training and watching their swings on the ‘Huddle’ app, as well as picking up some balls, it was time for the weekly Team Game.

The choice this week was the children’s favorite game, “Hitting into the bunker”.  Seeing that we were hitting off the synthetic, the shot required a precisely struck shot covering about 65 metres to a small bunker positioned in the middle of the range.

The group was broken into 2 teams Girls versus Boys.  For Team Girls we had Daisy, Jas and Sophie and for Team Boys we had Darby, Jake, Ollie P and Ted.

With many balls still on the range, the shot required a well struck lofted shot that would clear most of the minefield of balls or a great deal of luck if the option was to try to run the shot in.

It took a few minutes for anybody to get the first point on the board but Darby opened the account, slowly finding some of the form he was showing before his vacation during Term 3.

The match seesawed with both lead swapping hands 5 times before it all came down to which team would secure the final point to win the match.  Despite in the past, it seeming like there was a forcefield around the bunker for her shots, Sophie came up trumps to give the girls the win.

Sunday October 27th

Week 3 of the Term Program saw quite pleasant conditions at the start of the program before becoming very fresh towards the end.  We welcomed Euan to the Program after showing great potential and quickly graduating from the Rookie Program

This week the children got to work on their full swings for about 20 minutes before we started the Team Games.  The group was split up into 2 teams, Team L and team R.  Team L had Daisy, Dan and Jas and Team R had Darby, Euan and Ted.

The first game was “Hitting into the bunker”, which always creates plenty of excitement and noise.

The game went up and down like a yo-yo with Team L getting the lead only for Team R to draw level each time.  With the scores tied at 4 all, the equation was simple, next ball into the bunker would win the game for their Team.  Dan showed that he has been putting in the hard yards away from the clinic and sent a purely struck iron right into the middle of the bunker to give Team L the first game.  Everybody at least scored a point, but Dan was the hero of the game with 3 points for his team.

After some constant requests to be able to use their drivers, I yielded and allowed the children to have some driver work.  There was a mixture of great shots and some not so great shots, but generally some good work was done.

With about 15 minutes to go we moved over to the putting green to do some refining of their putting strokes.  The emphasis was on short, controlled strokes and I set up a little putting gate, using 2 tees for the children to try to get the ball through.  Some mastered it quickly, while others need to do a little bit more practice on their putting, instead of just hitting balls.

With 5 minutes left there was time for 2 more games, both of them “Nearest the Pin”.  The children got 2 balls each to try to master the putt.

The first NTP was to a hole about 10 metres away.  Some of the children hadn’t reset their brains to the putt being about 5 times the distance they were practicing from and left the putts a long way short.  Jas, however, was not one of those and secured the point and the match with a well-controlled putt that finished within 1 foot of the cup.

The final dead rubber was to a hole another 10 metres away.  After leaving both his putts well short on the first game, Ollie showed his competitive juices were still there and struck a wonderful long putt to finish inside 1 foot from the cup, a result a Tour Player would be delighted with.

Next week will see us do some more full swing work before re-visiting the putting green.


Gold Program

Sunday October 20th

Week 2 of the Term Program saw the children get to do some work on their full swing, after fine tuning their pitching in week 1. The children started off using their 7 irons before progressing, to their longer clubs, starting off with hybrids, before getting to smack some drivers down the range.

As it was the first chance to do some quality work for the term, the group did some intense work on their swings and we ran out of time to have any team games this week.  Next week, however, we will be on the Beach course and playing a 2 person Ambrose, so that will give the children plenty of competition time.


Sunday October 27th

Week 3 of the Term Program saw pleasant conditions with a moderate strength breeze of about 25 km’s per hour to greet the children.  This week the children got to go onto the Beach golf course and play 2 Person Ambrose Matchplay.  The balls were thrown into the air and the Teams were decided, Bryce and Ollie L versus Ethan and Tom.

The children got to tee off from the white markers on the first hole and with the wind into their face a well struck tee shot was required to clear the wasteland and stay out of the trouble.  Ethan got proceedings off to a great start, drilling a piercing drive straight down the middle of the fairway.  Bryce, sporting his new Callaway set, showed his customary first tee nerves and blocked his first drive into the thick grass and never to be seen again, luckily for him Ollie got just enough of his tee shot to just cover the right edge of the wasteland.  After a scratchy 2nd shot from both Bryce and Ollie, Bryce flushed his hybrid out of the rough to get the boys just short of the green for 3, and of course the usual Bryce fist pump was on display.  Not to be outdone, Tom also flushed his hybrid approach from about 120 metres onto the front of the green, quite an accomplishment as the entrance to the green is very narrow.  Ollie chipped up to about 10 feet to keep the game honest, but Ethan hit a great lag putt to within 1 foot and secure the first hole with a par.

The yellow tees were used for the second hole.  Bryce, Ethan and Ollie all cleared the fairway bunkers with well struck drives, meanwhile, Tom slightly miscued his drive and ended in the bunkers.  Once again, Bryce flushed his hybrid but just caught the left hand green side bunker, while Ethan played a smart short to the middle of the green and even got a favorable bounce towards the flag to be positioned about 15 metres away.  A great bunker shot from Ollie just trickled over the back of the green to once again putt the pressure back on Ethan and Tom, but another great lag putt from Ethan secured another par and the second hole.

The white tees were used for the par 3 third hole.  Playing into the teeth of the breeze, Bryce struck a solid drive to end up just off the right edge of the green and the pressure was back on Ethan and Tom after Ethan left his fairway wood short and left of the green leaving an extremely tough shot.  Ollie hit a great lag putt from off the green to within 1 metre and after Ethan and Tom battled their way from their tough position, Bryce and Ollie had secured the second hole and kept the match alive.

The yellow tees were used for the long par 5 finish, which as so often happens, was into the stiffening breeze.  Bryce and Ollie safely hit the middle of the fairway, before Ethan’s well-struck drive found the deep fairway bunker.  The pressure was on Tom and after a humorous swing the result was not what he desired.  After a couple of shots down the fairway from both teams, the match was evenly poised.  After Ethan didn’t clear the fairway bunkers with his approach the pressure was once again on Tom and this time he came up with the goods and flushed his 7 iron to a good position just off the left edge of the green.  A little bit of sloppy greenside play from Bryce and Ollie basically handed Ethan and Tom the match, which they took with open hands to win the match.

Next week will see some full swing and short game work.