Squad Training opens the eyes of leading amateurs

Cameron Johnston giving matters some thought during the Psychology SessionThe first ever South African Golf Association Squad training sessions were held this week when nineteen of South Africa’s leading amateurs congregated at the World of Golf in Woodmead, Johannesburg on Monday for three days of golf analysis.

The program saw the Gary Player Golf Experience staff along with Shadow Match and SAGA staff do an excellent job in analysing and explaining to the golfers the various aspects of the game of golf.

The full program consisted of Swing analysis in the Gary Player Tech Lab, Golf Fitness Analysis by the Titleist Performance Institute qualified Fitness Instructors, Equipment Analysis by the World of Golf Club Fitment Centre,a Rules Session, conducted by qualified Rules Officials from the SAGA, Psychology by Shadow Match, and full access to the World of Golf Facilities for the duration of the program.

Bruce Younge doing the Rules DemonstrationFor most of the players the whole experience was an eye opener as they came to realise just what it takes to become a top player and how much they still needed to learn and do in all aspects of the game.

The Tech Lab saw the guys looking on in amazement as their swings and putting strokes were broken down piece by piece so that they could be made aware of elements of their game that cannot be observed by the naked eye.

All in all the feedback from the Gary Player Golf Experience staff was that they players were attentive, asked the right questions and were enthusiastic. Danny Baleson of the Gary Player Golf Experience said, “What a great bunch of guys” and Richard Kaplan, ex Asian, European and Sunshine Tour professional and now Program Coordinator of the Gary Player Golf School of Champions stated “The general atmosphere during the three days was positive, competitive and filled with enthusiasm”.

Gary Player Tech LabThe feedback from the players was also very positive. Ryan Clarke, a current national player, who practices mainly at the World of Golf said that if he knew what was on offer at The Gary Player tech Lab he would have used these facilities long ago.

The plan for the future is to trim the squad numbers and to bring them to the World of Golf, perhaps bi-annually, in order to offer the players further opportunities to take advantage of the information they now know is available to them to improve their golf. Going forward the SAGA proposes to offer the squad additional opportunities to play internationally thus establishing a strong base of players for the future.

These squad training camps can only benefit the golfers themselves and South African golf as a whole.

Squad and facilitators 2008

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