By Peter Owen
Kini Naughton had become so nervous on the tee that she couldn’t even take a backswing. When she did manage a pass at the ball it invariably trickled only a few metres along the ground.
“I just couldn’t hit the ball,” she said. “It was like having the yips – only worse. It wouldn’t have mattered if I used a putter. I just couldn’t get the ball off the tee.”
Kini’s panic attacks became so bad that the Noosa Springs member gave the game away, packing away her clubs in the garage and not playing for six months.
Along the way her daughter told her about ‘tapping’ – an emotional freedom technique, also known as psychological acupressure, used to treat people with anxiety.
Similar to acupuncture – except with fingers rather than needles – the technique uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure to energy hot spots on the body and create a balance in a person’s energy system.
Kini gave it a try and, with the encouragement of friend Irene Cordukes, she gradually found the courage to return to the golf course.
It took a little time, but last week things clicked for the woman who didn’t take up golf until she was 57, and then saw her handicap drop from 45 to 20 in just 12 months.
Playing off 29 – a handicap she says she’s ashamed of – Kini had 43 stableford points to easily win Noosa Springs’ midweek competition.
“It was the first time in ages I’d had a good score,” she said. “It was such a relief to be hitting some good shots, and just playing to my handicap.”
Justice seals title at Noosa Springs
Justice Bosio, the country’s top-ranked junior female golfer, saved her best for last when she shot a brilliant three under-par 69 at Noosa Springs to win the Invincible Tour’s Sunshine Coast Junior Masters title last week.
She improved each day, scoring 74, 72, 70 and 69, to win the championship by nine strokes from Redcliffe’s Amy Hodgkins (76, 74, 69, 75: 294).
Justice’s four-round total of 285 was eight shots better than the best boy – Harry Takis, of Nudgee, who beat Royal Brisbane’s Yevin Samararatne by three strokes to win the boy’s championship.
The Junior Masters, the most prestigious event on the Invincibles Tour, was played over four rounds at Peregian, Twin Waters, Pelican Waters and Noosa Springs.
Justice, 16, from Caboolture, has proved herself to be Australia’s outstanding junior this year, winning titles in South Australia in successive weeks in January, and taking the Invincibles matchplay championship.
Ionna Muir (Maroochy River) won the girls’ nett title, while Adam Van Dorsselaer (Mt Coolum) was boys’ nett champion.
Lucas now among the best
Sunshine Coast-based Lucas Herbert gave notice that he was on the brink of greatness when he played a magnificent final round in the Scottish Open this week to fall just two strokes short of victory.
Herbert, 24, had led the tournament after two rounds but struggled in the dreadful Saturday conditions, shooting 79.
He threw everything he had into the final round, but came up just short. He shot a remarkable closing 65 at the Renaissance Club to finish tied-fourth, and held the lead throughout a stretch of his final round.
In fact, after he made five birdies in his first eight holes, including a chip-in at the par-four eighth, he was threatening to unseat those in front of him. He had come from six shots back.
When he signed for seven-under 65 with nine birdies, he realised that it would not be enough. The 264,000 Euro was a nice consolation prize, though.
Herbert, who makes his home at Marcus Beach, was ranked 78th in the world going into the tournament and will push closer to the top 50 after this result, a number that would give him walk-up starts in the majors including a potential berth at the US Masters in December.
Not only that, he is ranked seventh on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai with its huge carrot of the tour championship and its lucrative bonus pool.
It’s official: golf’s good for you
An international research study has shown what many of us have been telling our partners for years – playing golf is good for your mind and body.
New evidence also shows golf can provide significant health benefits to older players in the form of improved muscle strength and balance.
The Strength and Balance Study, carried out over two years by scientists in Britain and the US, shows golf can improve quality of life through muscle strengthening, improved balance, aerobic exercise and social interaction.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the Royal &Ancient, said: “These findings should encourage policy makers and healthcare professionals to consider recommending playing golf to older people as part of encouraging them to adopt a more active lifestyle, as well as tackling physical inactivity to reduce healthcare costs.”
Tired Dino bows out
A fortnight of almost non-stop competitive golf caught up with Noosa Springs’ Dino Degotardi in the South Australian Amateur Championship last week. He shot scores of 80 and 79 to miss the matchplay rounds of the championship at Adelaide’s Mt Osmond golf course.
But another Sunshine Coast star – Sarah Wilson of Pelican Waters – did the region proud by winning the stroke play section of the women’s championship, with rounds of 72 and 71, before reaching the final of matchplay competition.
Sarah, 19, then went down to South Australian Charley Jacobs, who produced a stunning birdie blitz to beat Sarah 10&9. Brisbane teenager Sam Slater won the men’s championship.
Golf booms through pandemic
Though Covid-19 has been devastating for many people, and has crippled some industries, it has inspired a golfing boom across the country, and particularly on the Sunshine Coast.
Leaving out Victoria, where golf has been closed down for extended periods, the number of rounds played nationally is up four percent to the end of August.
In its Australian Golf Rounds – Trends and Impacts of Covid-19 report, Golf Australia says rounds played by people in the 20-49 age range have skyrocketed in the past four months.
Become a true champion
Bookings can now be made for the Calvin Klein Queensland A, B & C Grade Championships to be played at Noosa Springs from November 27 to November 29. The event is open to all amateur golfers with a registered Golf Australia handicap.
Competitors play three rounds of golf, receive a Calvin Klein gift pack, enjoy a welcome cocktail party and have a chance of winning some great prizes.
The cost is $339 ($144 for Noosa Springs’ members) and players can register by downloading an entry form from the website, or ringing the Golf Shop on 5440 3322.
New face on Noosa committee
Alice Cumming has joined the committee of the Noosa Golf Club. Along with John Purdue, she was elected unopposed at the club’s recent Annual General Meeting. Arlene Penlington was returned at president, while Dale Officer is again vice-president.
Tuesday, 29 September
Men’s Tuesday Club, stableford: A grade – Rick Coneybeare 42, Stephen Thorn 51c/b, Justin Morgan 41, John Mierocha 39; B grade – Bruce Osborne 40c/b, James Mckean 40c/b, Robert Tuffley 40, Peter McDonald 39c/b; C grade – John Morton 42, Graeme Martin 41, Bruce Watt 39c/b, Shaun O’Brien 39.
Thursday, 1 October
Women’s stroke: A grade – Gail Murden 70, Bettina Hammant 71, Heather Alsop 72c/b; B grade – Karen Haynes 66, Dorothy Heaslip 69c/b, Marion O’Brien 69; C grade – Adrienne Wild 71c/b, Sandra Rogers 71, Cynthia Jackson 72. Rundown to 74c/b.
Monday, 28 September
Men’s stableford: Paul Matthews 39, Terry Gee 38, Bob Layton 37.
Wednesday, 30 September
Men’s stableford: William Tonge 40, James McCulloch 39, Simon Hennessy 38; women’s stableford: Kini Naughton 43, Helen Ringrose 38, Maddison Kelly 38.
Saturday, 3 October
Men’s Monthly Medal, stroke: Paul Betar 70, David Gibson 72, Greg Kelly 72; women’s Monthly Medal, stroke: Sue Ellis 69, Margaret Hart 71, Sandi Hoskins 72.
Sunday, 4 October
Men’s Universal Property Sunday Series, stableford: James Hordern 36c/b, William Coman 36c/b, Max Tunnell 36; women’s: Lorna Gibson 38, Fay Layton 34, Chrissy Hordern 32.
Tuesday, 29 September
Women’s stableford, 9 holes: Mary Miller 20c/b, Jenny Tucker 20. Rundown to 16c/b.
Wednesday, 30 September
Vets Monthly Medal, stroke: A grade – Jeff McDonald 63, Russ Rylance 68, Kerry Davies 69; B grade – Wayne Carty 68, Terry Lyons 69c/b, A. C. Dick 69; C grade – Matt Saunders 60, Rob Powell 65, Dennis Beckhaus 70c/b. Rundown to 72.
Thursday, 1 October
Women’s stroke: Div 1 – Wendy O’Hare 70; Div 2 – Patsy Fayne 66; Div 3 – Jenny Tucker 66. Rundown to 70.
Friday, 2 October
Coopers Challenge, stableford: P. Carroll 40, D. Beckhaus 36, M. Davies 34 c/b.
Saturday, 3 October
Men’s Monthly Medal, stroke: A grade – P. Crosby 68, B. Robertson 69; B grade – I. Lumsden 67c/b, B. Clemow 67; C grade – T. Foster 67, P. Williams 68. Rundown to 73. Women’s Monthly Medal, stroke: Deb Macaulay 68c/b, Chris Michael 68.