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Featured Article

What a future junior golf has in Australia
by Nigel Gibson (Head PGA Professional Kingston Heath, VIC),
first published by the Financial Review 18th April, 2002

I arrived at work on Monday morning earlier than usual knowing that the players in our open junior tournament would be keen to do some practice prior to the 8.00am shotgun start.

At 6.10 am the first of those players began to come through the gates with either mum or dad acting as the taxi service for the day. Many of the kids had traveled for a number of hours to play what is recognised as the number 2 course in Australia.
One of the most impressive sights of the day was that nearly all of the kids warmed up correctly by going through a few light stretches prior to working their way through the bag with wedges then mid irons etc.

I am so used to seeing the adults make their way immediately to the woods tee to see if they can crank up a few long drives before they get to the first tee. It was obvious to me that these kids had been watching their idols. The likes of Norman, Woods and now Baddeley’s routines had been keenly observed and now put into practice. To become good you have to emulate what the great players do.

Like all good players these up and coming young champions were straight out onto the practice fairway to work on their games once again. In listening I heard plenty of hard luck stories of missed opportunities and what could or should have been. However this did not dampen the enthusiasm the players had for the game. Through out Australia we will see many of the junior members winning competitions. With school holidays being taken the golf courses and pro shops are filed with the younger players. I can still remember when I had school holidays as a kid I would get Mum or Dad to drop me off in the morning at the club and then pick me up on the way home from work. During the day a bunch of us would play and practice. At times we played up to 45 holes in a day.

It is a wonderful sport to get your children involved in, they learn to interact with adults and other children from all different walks of life. You could end up playing golf on a Saturday with the CEO of a multi national company, who by the way could loose his cool a bit when missing that little two-foot putt.

So if you happen to have children and they show an interest in the game you might give some thought to taking them down to the course late one afternoon for a hit and a bit of fun. It really is a sport for all ages.



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