Awesome experience for junior squad in Melbourne

Report by Jack Tanner

Glenelg's Junior HP squad wait patiently at Adelaide Airport prior to their flight ot MelbourneVery early on Monday,16th November, the Glenelg Golf Club High Performance Junior Squad trip to Victoria was just starting!! As the 12 of us Juniors boarded the plane, we shared the GoPro (Small Camera) around taking videos of each other as we were thinking about all the amazing things we were looking forward to.

On the trip with me was Austin Baker, Aaron & Jack Buchanan, Josh Gumm, Marcus Kuys, Harry Burner, Jake Rillotta, Jackson Kalz, Emma Sutton, Harry Edwards and Mitch Ward, with supervisors, Brenton Kalz, Elysia Yap and David Brand, and coach Adrian Wickstein.

We landed in Melbourne all ready to rock and roll but had a long drive to come from the airport to Sorrento Golf Club. On the way to the golf course, we chatted and watched movies with a quick stop at KFC which was icing on the cake – but everyone had a feeling that, for eating junk food, we will be punished during the beach and fitness sessions we had coming up during the week.

Harry Burner (AKA The Wizard) was the star performer on the Junior HP squad trip, winning almost everything along the way!Before we teed up at Sorrento, we set down some base rules about prizes for best scores, etc.

Taking out almost every game was Harry Burner – AKA The Wizard. The course was really deceiving but awesome to play. All the hills and swales made it tough and a real test for us juniors.

After our round, we headed to our accommodation – at the amazing Tyrone Beachhouse at Rye – where we were assigned bedrooms for the week – there were 7 bedrooms in total! We had a great cabana area for the juniors which was a real positive for us and saved the adults having to put up with us making noise at 1:00am even though curfew was 10:30pm. Sorry David ahahahaha!! Out by the pool, we all engaged in group activities such as the mental and very physical “Bring Sally Up” Push Up Challenge.

The 10th on The National's Old CourseThe next morning everyone was rushing to get ready and packed to be in the car by 6:30am. The first round we played at the National was the Old Course – it was interesting but also deceiving. The first tee was amazing, there was the view to the beach on our right and a giant tree was nestled in the middle of the fairway. The wind was blowing like we were playing at St. Andrews at the British Open. It was an overcast, windy day but became beautiful toward the middle of the round.

As we reached the 7th hole, we all dropped our jaws – even though I didn’t get to see everyone’s expressions, I could imagine it in my head . A triangle shaped green overlooking the ocean with a small scrub land surrounding the green. The only safe place was the green! The Old Course brings out the fitness and mental side of you. If you didn’t give 100% for every hole you were punished – a true set scene for a golf course.

The famous par 3 7th hole on The National's Old CourseNot your typical hole - a windmill sits in the middle of the 10th fairway as Emma Sutton attempts to navigate past with her driveThe afternoon round at the Moonah course was a whole different layout, more like Glenelg. It was very open but if you weren’t hitting fairway, you were having a hard time making par. We played a 2-Ball Ambrose which was drawn out of a hat the night before.

Unfortunately, I was paired with Adrian who was just crunching all his drives, so the pressure was on me to hit fairways. Adrian and I were hitting great shots in, but couldn’t hole a putt. I guess that’s golf, but everyone had a great time playing as a team of two and playing a different style of golf.

The National was nothing less than AMAZING. Especially seeing David make peace with the flies that were surrounding him like bees to honey!

 

After a hard day at the office, we had a really good warm down stretching session which really helped and educated us on the importance of warming down. Straight after the session, we jumped into the pool that was always a beautiful temperature. Jack Buchanan was the entertainment and we were trying to tame him from RKOing everyone. As it got closer to curfew, we started to find the items that hopefully we could get signed by the pros the next day when we went to the Masters.

Wednesday was Australian Masters day and we all jumped in the car for an hour’s drive to Huntingdale Golf Club. As we approached the gates, we could already see the pros playing in the Pro ­Am.

Adam Scott during the Australian Masters Pro AmLike last year’s trip, all of us Juniors rushed over to the Mercedes Benz putting green to try to win prizes, but that wasn’t the only thing that we had our eyes on. The UNIQLO tent was a big hit for us as it was full of their latest clothing and had a golf simulator right in the middle. As we wandered through the course, Adam Scott was being followed by half of our squad, while Jake and I followed Ryan Ruffels (child prodigy) and the local pros we know from SA like Max McCardle, Jason Norris and Peter Cooke.

The highlight of the day was meeting our idol Adam Scott. He spent a while with us signing everything from hats to phone covers – anything we could get our hands on! He was great and luckily for us, we got lots of photos with him. I was also lucky enough to get Ryan Ruffels’ signature on the putting green!

 

Thursday we played The Dunes – the weather was perfect and the greens were amazing. The first six holes were great then a severe strong wind blew in and it became very overcast from then on, but the course was still heaps fun to play. Finishing up the round with a 75, I still didn’t win with Marcus taking the win on a countback.

Glenelg's Junior HP Squad going through a fitness session with Oliver Yourn (Fit Golf) at Rye Back BeachGlenelg's Junior HP Squad with Oliver Yourn (Fit Golf)That afternoon we had a short break before our grueling fitness session on the beach started. Our session with Oliver Yourn (Fit Golf) was a great experience for us and gives us something to think about when we get home and take care of our bodies, even when we are not paying golf (which is not very often!) We did a series of muscle and core work with long distance runs in between.

We were also put through some social media and public speaking training which was great fun for all except Aaron, who couldn’t seem to work out what he wanted to say in his speech!

Unfortunately, Friday was our last day and we headed to the Australian Masters to watch the second round of the tournament. Adam Scott was playing amazing and it felt like he was making birdies every two holes. Everyone had a great time buying merchandise and seeing the pros in action.

Many thanks to David, Brenton, Adrian and Elysia for supervising the trip – they were great, very patient and we hope they had fun as well.

This trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity and all of us juniors are forever grateful to the Club, and the Glenelg Golf Club Foundation and its supporters, for allowing us to have this amazing experience and bonding session that we will never forget.

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