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Kew Country Club Dedicated to Junior Golf

(Article written by Kew CC member Howard Burrows and featured in Inside Golf - August 2015)

Kew Country Club, situated in the small rural village of Kew on the Mid North Coast of NSW an easy five hour drive north of Sydney, started life as a dairy farm. A group of dedicated locals decided that part of the farm should be turned into a nine hole golf course which subsequently became twelve and finally eighteen picturesque holes with tree lined fairways, plenty of water hazards and abundant wildlife. 

Since it’s inception, KCC (formally known as Camden Haven Golf Club) has promoted junior golf in the area and that focus continues to this day. The club has had three professionals during it’s life and all have devoted a good deal of time and energy to the development of a strong junior program within the club. Jason Laws started his professional career at KCC and now runs a highly acclaimed teaching academy at Newcastle Golf Club. Jason was followed by Steve Boswell who continued the junior program and the current professional Luke Garel regularly works with our squad affectionately known as the Red Swarm due to the bright red shirts worn by it’s members.

It is pleasing to note that of the past twenty A grade men’s club championships, thirteen have been won by graduates from our junior program and two of these juniors have gone on to be trainee professionals. Indeed, junior graduates have won the past eleven championships and there is every possibility that they will win many more before the sequence is broken.

While the girls who have graduated into the senior ranks have not been as successful as the boys, it is worth noting that our current assistant junior coach, Annie Sheridan, was the C grade ladies champion in 2008, the A grade ladies champion in 2011 and has recently returned from attending college in Dodge City, Kansas (USA) where she was a member of their very successful golf team.

Currently, KCC has 12 registered junior golfers who regularly play in club competitions, area and statewide junior competitions. We also have 13 cadet golfers who participate in the Sunday afternoon coaching and nine hole competitions and all are working towards obtaining their AGU handicaps. The breakdown is 10 junior boys, 9 cadet boys, 2 junior girls and 4 cadet girls ranging in age from six to sixteen years.

For several years KCC has run a one day junior tournament but after intense lobbying of the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation, we were successful in obtaining a leg of the prestigious JNJG Junior Masters Series this year. The tournament was held over two days in May and a field of 88 young golfers from all parts of NSW contested the event. The best young players in the state showed that the future of Australian golf is in good hands with some outstanding performances in very trying conditions.  Corey Rae from Cromer Golf Club in Sydney won the boys open title and Hannah Park of Dunheved in Sydney took out the girls open title.

One of our own juniors, Daniel Morgan, led the boys open division after day one, firing a one-under-par 69, but was unable to repeat the performance on day two. In another outstanding effort on Day 1, 12 year old June Song from Avondale in Sydney shot a one-under-par 70 to lead the girls open division but June couldn’t hold off the ever consistent Hannah Park on day two and finished a close second. JNJG were delighted with the overall presentation of the course and the running of the tournament and have already confirmed that the Masters Series will return to KCC in 2016.

The junior program is run by a small but dedicated band of volunteers headed by junior co-ordinators Howard Burrows and Greg Mitchell and ably assisted by Annie Sheridan.  All at KCC believe the program is in good hands and the future looks extremely bright for both the Club and junior golfers. 

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