Junior high performance squad meet hero Scott

Report by Lachy Barker

It all started on Tuesday, 18th November at 4:00am when I woke up to catch our flight to Melbourne. I was felling pretty excited and keen for the great week lying ahead with the other guys from the Club’s High Performance Junior Squad, which included Matilda Wheare, Aaron Buchanan, Jack Buchanan, Jack Tanner, Liam Kennewell, Jackson Kalz, Will Starkey and Mitchell Ward.

Glenelg's High Performance Junior Squad at The Dunes Golf LinksWe all met at Adelaide Airport looking half asleep, but ready for the journey ahead. The 16 of us made it to Melbourne safely thanks to Virgin Australia, before taking the two hour drive to The Dunes Golf Club on the Mornington Peninsula – a little bit too long for Will Starkey, who needed a wee little toilet stop on the way! We arrived at The Dunes to be faced with a magnificent looking links course that I couldn’t wait to tackle. The rolling natural sand dunes and clever bunkering made this course a challenge, but a pleasure to play. Conditions were fairly nice which was a bonus, but that didn’t make it any easier. There were a few good scores from the guys, but I had five over (31 points).

It was a great first taste though, and things were looking up for the week. We ventured back to our apartments that night, tired and enjoyed some friendly putting comps in the rooms before bed.

Lachy Barker with world number 2 golfer, Adam ScottDay 2, and we went to Metropolitan Golf Club where we watched the Aussie Masters Pro-Am all day and our favourite golfers in action. There was one man in particular, though, that most of the gallery were following; a man by the name of Adam Scott, or Scotty, as we like to call him. I’ve never seen anyone hit it so pure in my life!! The best bit about it though, was that we got to interact with him. Most of us were able to get pictures with him on the course and some items signed. Matilda Wheare was picked out of the crowd by Scotty to have a photo with, whilst Aaron Buchanan even got to say something to the world number two – “Heelloooooo Adam”. This became the quote of the trip.

After Scotty finished his round, we were lucky enough to have a quick photo shoot with him thanks to the smooth talking of our Club Pro, Shane Robinson. That was a moment we will all treasure for a long time.

That afternoon, after experiencing the atmosphere of the tournament and the beauty of “Metro”, we headed back to our apartments with massive smiles on our faces. We were still smiling when we went to a 36 hole adventure putt-putt complex that evening and had a hit around there. It was great fun and a good warm up for the 36 holes of real golf the following day. I think we all found the two courses rather tough for mini golf, but it was a good way to finish the day, that along with Fasta Pasta for dinner!

Lachlan Barker (hitting) and Will Starkey on the 5th at Woodlands Golf ClubDay 3 was an early start with a 7:45am tee off at one of Glenelg’s reciprocal clubs, Woodlands. And when we arrived the weather wasn’t on our side, with 40kph winds so the golf was pretty average for the first few holes. After we warmed up and got a feel for the course and conditions, it became a much better experience. Ranked number 12 in Australia is Woodlands, and we could see why with the tremendous course design and quality. We all finished our rounds and sat down in their new clubhouse enjoying a meal. It was fair to say the course had won on this occasion.

Junior High Performance squad member, Aaron BuchananWe didn’t get to rest for long though, as we headed off to Huntingdale for our second round of the day. This course is across the road from Metropolitan, which was cool as we could see the pros playing from where we were. Huntingdale was also pristine – my personal favourite as it was appealing to the eye, a brilliant layout and the course was immaculate. I played well too, which may have affected my opinion of the course a bit! It rained the whole round though, which added to the difficulty.

We all completed nine holes and then some of us went into their awesomely new $13 million clubhouse for a drink, but Will Starkey and I decided to give speed golf a go which was fun! We played six holes in half an hour and played some surprisingly good golf. Tired as anything, we sat down and had some dinner before heading back to our rooms for a well earned sleep.

Day 4, our last day of the action packed trip, and we all woke up happy but sad that it was about to be over when the day was done. After packing everything up, we headed over to Metropolitan for day 2 of the Masters and spent the whole day there watching the action, as well as getting involved with some spectator activities including the Mercedes putting comp and the X golf simulator, which provided some great fun. Friday was about the tournament though, so we spent most of the day on the course watching the favourites and the players we liked. In the morning, I watched our local boy, Anthony Murdaca, and Kyle Stanley from the US, who played some solid golf. Murdaca had an eagle on the 8th (his 17th) but unfortunately still missed the cut by one shot. In the afternoon, some of us watched Scotty whilst others watched Jason Norris – it was just a great day of golf spectating all around. Weather was pure, the course was mint and the golf was too.

Adam Scott signed golf ballWe were all extremely happy with the trip and conversations of the days’ golf carried us all the way back to Adelaide Airport that night. It was truly an amazing trip and one enjoyed by all, filled with some once in a lifetime opportunities we will never get again. It was a great bonding chance for the group and I feel much closer to everyone on the trip now than I did before.

To finish I would like to thank everyone who came on the trip; the juniors and the adults who made it a fantastic week – especially Shane Robinson, David Brand, Paul, Lisa & Brittany Duregon, Brenton Kalz & Jack Starkey for organizing us lot – not an easy task at the best of times! Also a big thanks to the Club, the Glenelg Golf Club Foundation and all of its supporters for providing the funding which made this trip, and the amazing experiences, possible.

I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

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About the Glenelg Golf Club Foundation

The Club is committed to the ongoing support and encouragement of Junior Golf and as a result, the Glenelg Golf Club Foundation provided funding assistance to Liam to compete in this event in New South Wales.

Through the Glenelg Golf Club Foundation, we have identified Junior Golf as one of our key areas of importance. As a result, the Club has focused on funding the ongoing development, training and promotion of Junior golf with proceeds raised through the Foundation.

This results in an outstanding, fully funded Junior Development Program at Glenelg Golf Club.