I arrived early and found there was a large wall erected in the media centre separating us (the media) from the Golf NSW staff. I had a joke, laugh and a good chat with Olivia and Piret from Golf NSW before I got down to some Fairways work.
After sending off a couple of emails, I wandered off to the clubhouse and ran into Jason Norris and his caddy for the next few weeks, Ace. We were both heading to the range and as Norrey found a spot to whack some balls, I watched the pros practice.
I love watching elite players practicing – there are always little things I pick up that I want to try.
I met US golfer Ryan Carter and chatted with him for a bit before I headed up to the putting greens.
I bumped into Craig Scott (CEO of Stonecutters Ridge) as he was directing traffic – literally. Ensuring the carts were kept off the path and out of the way as the players from the morning ProAm returned.
As more carts were flowing in, I jumped in one of the first two that were returned and moved it off the concrete, ribbing the boys about parking in the middle of the footpath.
I then headed to the putting greens and stood amongst a throng of juniors who have the pleasure of being part of the Junior Pro-Am this afternoon. I watched the delighted smiles as they warmed up on the putting greens with the pros. They pointed out the players to each other then tried to play it cool. I am sure they would like to emulate the guys that are competing this week.
I watched one young junior turn a shade of beetroot as a ball hit his foot and he turned, realising he was standing on the line of Steve Jones’ ball. Steve barely noticed.
I was chatting to Norrey again as we watched Steve putt on a strip of metal approx 10mm wide. With no room for error, I was impressed when he dropped the putt. We all then had to try and I managed to run the ball three quarters along the strip before it veered off.
I was using Steve’s Scotty Cameron putter which worked better than when I tried with Norrey’s putter. I barely made it half way. I really wanted to keep practicing but I’m not competing this week so I let the boys get to it.
When Steve dropped two in a row we were all very impressed.
As the announcement was made for the juniors to head out I wandered off to the first tee and caught up with David Tease from Golf NSW. We had a golf chat about juniors as I was curious to know how many girls were here to play as I had spotted five. There were seven. Seven out of sixty.
Cassandra Linares, a junior from Canberra was waiting to tee it up on the 1st and I asked her about her golf story and if she has friends who golf. She has golf friends but not friends who golf and we both agreed there certainly is a difference.
Cassandra has been to some junior tournament events where she is one of four girls from a field of 100.
Where are all the girls?
Australia is quite different to North America and Europe. There are always more girls represented and I want to know why Australian girls don’t golf. I am teaching golf in schools down the south coast later in the week and I plan to have a good chat with the girls there to see if I can find out why.