Chichester Golf Club hosted its annual Junior Open, the NA Al Nassar, and 15 of the most talented junior golfers from the area battled it out on the Cathedral course for a variety of prizes.
Course conditions were very tough this year as consistent rainfall in 2018 had led to a soft course – this meant it was playing very long and hitting fairways and greens needed to be a high priority for the competitors.
Max Herring from Golf at Goodwood fired an impressive three-over-par round of 75 to win this year’s Al Nassar by three shots.
Keeping his nerve down the final holes Herring went on to win the tournament by three shots.
There is also a prize awarded to the best nett score – Harry Callow shot a gross 79 off his 15 handicap, meaning his nett score of 64 was enough to beat the field by a massive six shots. It was a great performance from the young man.
Further prizes were awarded to winners of their divisions.
The Al Nassar runner-up was Joshua Greig with gross 78.
Division-one winner was Herring with nett 70 and division-two winner was Jamie Burchell with 71, ahead of Greig with 72.
The division-three winner was Callow with nett 64, runner-up Maisie Hassall 73.
Organisers praised all competitors and parents for supporting the competition.
Chichester GC run roll-up sessions to get kids introduced to golf and have fun. They offer two sessions each week and each session lasts for one hour.
The session costs £7.50 per child and there is no need to book. Kids can start from as young as four. Just turn up early and register in the driving range shop and they will provide balls and equipment. They run on Saturdays (9am-10am) and Sundays (10am-11am).
Having worked hard to make the spring meeting a success, organisers Judy Stillwell and Pat White had a disappointment when the Monday competition had to be cancelled because the course was closed.
The second day went ahead, with teams of four playing a Stableford with best two scores to count. The players were treated to sweets at the start, cakes at the halfway house followed by a meal and prize giving.
The winners from the first tee were Lil Cummins, Solveig Burton, Janet Poat and Mary Sexton with 76 points. Winners from the 10th tee were Fiona Sapsworth, Sonia Burden, Sandra Barber and Marnie Evans with 70.
CHRIS McDONNELL COLUMN
The season is now well under way and we have already enjoyed one of the highlights of the professional calendar and the first major, The Masters.
The Masters was played at the famous Augusta National course in Georgia state, USA. The course is well-renowned for its rapid, undulating greens and finely manicured fairways, which require precise approach play and an imaginative short game.
What you don’t see on the television is that the Augusta National course is very undulating from tee to green, so calculating the distance compensations is a key skill.
The tournament was very exciting to watch with Britain’s Rory McIlroy and American Patrick Reed leading the way into the final round.
As various players mounted their challenge, Patrick Reed stayed on top to claim his first green jacket, while McIlroy dropped some shots and still searches for his first Masters victory to complete his major career grand slam.
After the tournament Reed was asked about the secret to his success, which he put down to his mindset for the week. He had incredible self-belief, stuck to his game plan and focused on just playing golf without letting the occasion distract him from playing naturally. Even with victory riding on his final putt, he never lost his cool.
This really goes to show that the mind is such a powerful tool to use when it comes to achieving anything in golf, or life. There are thousands of great professional golfers in the world, but what separates the best players is their mindset.
Going into most majors you could give any player reasons for winning, but at the end of the day it comes down to who has a relaxed mentality under pressure.
Here at the Golf At Goodwood Academy we really focus on these key mental elements of the game. Having the self-belief to get on to the golf course is so important for any beginner or young player and we strive to create an encouraging environment for all types of golfer.
We offer a structured programme for juniors and women that want to try the game at their own pace – something we showcased at our recent academy open day. To book onto any of our coaching programmes please visit Goodwood.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* Chris McDonnell is the academy manager for Golf At Goodwood. Email email@example.com or call 01243 520162. Read his monthly column here and in the Observer.