By Peter Owen
BRIAN Jackson, a five-handicapper at Noosa, took one look at his friend Alan Meredith’s swing and told him why he had been playing so poorly.
“You’re hitting with only your arms,” he said. “You need to turn your shoulders and rotate your body.”
That’s sound advice, of course, but sometimes a 75-year-old body just isn’t prepared to do what’s right.
But Alan, who’s been playing golf since he was 19 and has been a Noosa member for more than 30 years, gave it a try.
He took a club out to his own ‘driving range’ – he lives on acreage at Doonan – and put his mate’s advice to the test. It seemed to work, but you never really know until you play under the stress of competitive golf.
Alan did that last week in Noosa’s Saturday stableford event, before the rain came.
Playing off a handicap of 15 – generous by his standards – he hit the ball long and straight, was on 10 greens in regulation, and chipped and putted with renewed confidence. He shot 79, which equated to 44 stableford points – easily good enough to win the day’s B grade competition.
He lost two shots from his handicap, but Alan doesn’t mind. He’s just happy to be finally playing good golf again.
“I don’t always listen to Brian,” he confessed. “He’s got a really good swing and I’ve got an ‘Alan Meredith’ swing. Things that work for him don’t necessarily work for me. But I’m glad I paid attention this time.”
Alan was 19 and living in Sydney when he took up the game, encouraged by his brother Ernie, who was a member at Dunheved in suburban St Mary’s.
Tired of the Sydney lifestyle, Alan moved to Noosa in 1988. “My wife and I had been holidaying there for years, loved it, and thought it was the right place to be,” he said.
Alan owned the IGA supermarket at Pomona for 16 years before retiring.
These days his interests include golf – he plays Saturdays and with the Vets on Wednesdays – and his family. His three children live locally and he enjoys watching his grandchildren grow.
Easy at Cooroy if you’re a Peter
If your name was Peter, you were certainly at an advantage in last Wednesday’s Veterans stroke competition at Cooroy.
Peter Brown had the round of the day – an outstanding nett 64 to take the A grade category. Peter Kennedy was third. He also won the Kev Tonkin best gross score with 72, and picked up a Nearest the Pin prize on the 12th hole.
Peter Crosby won a ball in the rundown and had two NTP prizes, while Peter Buchbach was also in the rundown.
Vets secretary Rod Booth said the Veterans comp was now the most popular fixture on Cooroy’s weekly schedule.
“It’s very competitive,” he said, “but the players really enjoy the fun and camaraderie of the day.”
Rod said almost every weekly event was now sponsored by members, or groups of members.
“We checked the other day, and the sponsorship from members amounted to about $5500 last year,” he said. “That’s allowed us to offer good prizes, and regularly put on free sausage sizzles, and free hamburgers and drinks.”
Rain doesn’t deter Ben
As the rain poured last weekend, Noosa Springs’ Ben Kearney and his intrepid mates glanced at the sky, noticed a slight lightening of the cloud cover, and decided to chance it and play their usual Saturday competition round.
He’s glad he did.
Ben dodged most of the showers to go around in 87, sign for a nett 75, and win a stroke competition that comprised a modest field of just six players.
“The conditions weren’t that bad at all,” said Ben, who has been a Noosa Springs member since relocating from Adelaide last year. “There was some rain, but nothing too much.”
The weekend deluge closed many Sunshine Coast courses, and even those that remained open cancelled their scheduled competitions.
“It was fun,” Ben said. “I would have been kicking myself if I’d stayed home.”
Girls flock to golf
If the object of the exercise was to get more girls to play the game – as it obviously was – then it was certainly a case of ‘mission accomplished’.
The number of Golf Australia’s MyGolf Girls programs across the country increased by 34.2% during April, and total registrations in MyGolf Girls programs increased by 25.4% in the same period.
The huge increases came off the back of MyGolf Girls Month, which ran throughout April to encourage more girls to take up the game.
But, more critically, the rise in participation reflects the growing appetite for golf among Aussie girls.
“We know that girls involved in golf in their early years go on to be lifelong participants of the game,” said Emma Phillips, Golf Australia’s junior product manager.
The push to get more girls playing golf does not end with MyGolf Girls month, with local programs ongoing.
One such program is based at Noosa Golf Club, where teaching pro Jimmy Douris conducts clinics for kids aged from six to 12 each Wednesday from 3.40pm to 4.10pm.
The weekly classes continue until June 23, and some spots are still available. Contact Jimmy (0420 975 546, email@example.com) for details. The classes are free, but participants must be junior or cadet members of the club. Cadet membership is less than $50 per year.
Noosa has also scheduled a six and nine-hole tournament for young golfers from 3pm this Sunday.
Junior pennant kicks off next weekend
TEAMS from Noosa, Noosa Springs and Maroochy River dominate this year’s junior pennant competition which begins at Mt Coolum on Sunday, May 16.
Noosa, which has developed a number of outstanding juniors over the past decade, will field two teams, as will Noosa Springs.
Maroochy River will be represented by four teams.
Headland and Caloundra will each have one team in the competition which, for the first time, will be conducted independently of the senior pennants season.
This year’s junior final will be played at Gympie on June 27 – one week after competition begins in A grade, B grade and Masters divisions.
Noosa Springs Skins this month
It comes along four times a year and is always one of the most popular dates on the Sunshine Coast golf calendar. The second of this year’s Noosa Springs Skins series is on Wednesday, May 26, with golfers competing for 72 bottles of premium wine.
Four bottles go to the team that provides the best combined stableford points score on each hole. Like any skins format, if a hole is halved the prize jackpots to the next hole.
As well, one lucky player will win a $1500 advertising package from Southern Cross Austereo, and if you find the hole with your tee shot on the par-three fourth, you will win corporate membership to Noosa Springs, valued at $2250.
Visitors pay $85 ($39 for members and $75 for Hope Island, social and reciprocal members), and that includes lunch and post-game nibbles. It’s a 12 noon shotgun start. Book by calling 5440 3325, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slow start to Katherine’s year
Katherine Kirk birdied the 18th hole for a final round par 72 and a 72-hole total of 285 in the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore at the weekend.
She finished 28th – 14 strokes behind the winner, Hyo Joo Kim of South Korea, who sealed her win with a final round eight-under-par 64.
After a slow start to the season, the Sunshine Beach golfer is currently 103rd in tour standings.
Fellow Australian, Hannah Green, had the tournament at her mercy with two holes to play but bogeyed the final two holes to miss out by a single stroke.
Monday, 26 April
Men’s stableford: Uli Schmetzer 36, John Gavin 34c/b, Doug Oates 34; women’s stableford: Dana Angus 35, Jennifer Aitken 33c/b, Penelope Sykes 33.
Tuesday, 27 April
Men’s stableford: Graham Dawson 34, Rory Bourke 32, Mark Johnstone 31; women’s stableford: Michelle Egan 37, Diane McLaughlan 32, Dana Angus 30.
Wednesday, 28 April
Men’s stableford: Tony Buss 39, Bruce Farmer 38, Timothy Smith 37c/b; women’s stableford: Jen Carr 37c/b, Karen O’Brien 37, Niki Matthews 35.
Thursday, 29 April
Men’s stableford: Scott Wilson 32, Martin Scollon 30, Phillip Fortington 28c/b.
Saturday, 1 May
Men’s stableford: Ben Kearney 75, Paul Grant 76, Steven Burr 78.
Sunday, 2 May
Men’s Sunday Series, stableford: David Wrigley 34, David McMartin 33, Bruce McCleary 31c/b.
Tuesday, 27 April
Women’s stableford (9 holes): Kathy Butler 21, Beatrice Bruin 18.
Wednesday, 28 April
Vet’s Monthly Medal, stroke: A grade – Peter Brown 64, Mike Kent 67, Peter Kennedy 68c/b; B grade – Jim Lenske 68c/b, Roman Braithwaite 68, Lance Horn 70; C grade – Kev Crundall 67, Ron Blount 68c/b, Mike O’Donnell 68.