The final coaching session of the winter was competition day for the elite junior golfers in the South. On a lovely mild early spring day with little wind, twelve players gathered full of excitement on Saturday 4 March at Brighouse Bay Development Centre to put to the test the skills and lessons they had learned during the winter coaching from PGA Professionals, Chris Robinson and David Broadfoot.
The first morning session was a game called “Battleships” where 11 small cones were arranged in the shape of a battleship and from a distance of 20 yards the boys had to hit a cone which was then removed. The team which had the most cones removed was Nathan Watson, Iain Rae and Lewis Cheetham. To the driving range next for a clinic on ball striking using impact tape. When the ball was hit off the sweet spot on the club face it left a distinctive mark on the tape to show the shot had been hit perfectly. There was great competition and one-upmanship between the boys to see who could get the most perfect shots.
The next competition was “Drive for Show, Putt for Dough” where if from the tee the boys hit the fairway they then moved 20 yards forward to the green cone to hit the second shot but if the tee shot missed the fairway they had to move back 20 yards to the red cone for the second shot. They played 13 holes and the winner was the player who had most birdies. Congratulations to Lewis Cheetham, who showed everyone else how to do it with 5 birdies, followed by Nathan Watson with 4 and David Sharp and William Squires with 3 each. During this competition the professions used the on-course Trackman to test how the players controlled the ball flight using different clubs.
The final session after a late lunch was the chipping competition. The format was to play once from four different distances up to 20 yards from different sides of the green to each of four pins. The game was man-to-man and the winner of each round was the player who got his shot nearest the hole on the most occasions. The professionals took part and there were great cheers of delight when some of the boys beat a professional.
The Executive of the South of Scotland Golfers’ Association would like to thank the professionals, Chris Robinson and David Broadfoot for organising the coaching days and for imparting their knowledge and experience which hopefully will be used by the boys throughout the coming season. Many thanks also to the Gillespie, family our hosts at Brighouse Bay, and to Jim Dougall for all his assistance.
The boys who enjoyed the final Performance Day were Callum McMillan, Nathan Watson, William Squires and Patrick Innes (all Kirkcudbright); Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar); Iain Rae (Dalbeattie); Glen Irvine and Thomas Robinson (D&G); David Sharp, Lewis Cheetham and Neil MacDonald (D&C); and Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick).
The photograph shows the boys and their two professional tutors after another successful day.