Golf: Merewether launches junior academy

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ROOM TO MOVE: Merewether director and junior co-ordinator Andy Piggott in the new room in the club house dedicated to children. Picture: Simone De PeakMEREWETHER have launched a new junior academy designed to attract players to the game and develop the next batch of stars.
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The brainchildof director and junior co-ordinator Andy Piggott, the academy is for kids aged five to 13. They enter as white-hat beginners, who complete a 10-week introductory program run by club pros Paul Smith and Adam Cecil.From a white hat, they progressto red hat and eventually green hat.

“We are trying to make it more appealing to kids and better value for money overall,” Piggott said. “Kids get rewards with the hat system and feellike they are progressing. Membership is $50 which allows the junior member to play for free year-round. It also allows their parents or grand parents, if they are not members, to play at members rates.”

As well asthe academy, the club has an elite squad and regular tuition for middle-ground juniors.

“We are trying to develop every kid to jump those levels,” Piggott said.

The academy coincides with the opening of a “juniors room” in the club house.

“We found if juniors were at competition level they would go up into the club house and be around adults,” Piggott said. “The room is somewhere they can hang out and has all the technology that they would normally use. It doubles as a kids room when people are having meals at the club.”

* It might not rank as Nathan Green’s biggest win but it is certainly one of his fondest. Green fired a six-under 66 to be joint winner alongside Leigh McKechnie, Andrew Dodt and Taylor Cooper of the Waratah Pro-am on Saturday. Green started as a 10-year-old cadet at Waratah and was a member there until he turned pro.

* The Vintage’s Dylan Perry narrowly missed out on defending his NSW Country Championship crown at Goulburn Golf Club on Sunday.The 21-year-old shot four-under 66 to lead by three after day one but struggled in the wind on Sunday to card a 73 and finish second behind Anthony Brunero (71-66). Perry’s clubmate Joshua Knott (72-73) was 10th.

Perry and Charlestown’s Blake Windred will play in the NSW Open at Stonecutters Ridge next Thursday.

* Troy Brouwer (Belmont), Andrew Lange (Lorn), Mitchell Bodycote (Rothbury), Joshua Crampton (Cessnock), Camran Walton (Kurri Kurri) and Corey Lamb (Branxton) have been invited to play in a junior pro-am at Stonecutters Ridge on Wednesday afternoon.

* Iain Carthew won his third consecutive club championship at Beresfield on Saturday, shooting a course-record five-under 62.

* Newcastle Golf Club will host the Kloster BMW Newcastle Cup over 36 holes on November 12-13.The club is trialling the new two-day format, which this year will include the Autumn Record vardon event, which was postponed in May due to poor weather.