Golf Australia

Exclusive: Brad James on building our next stars

Oliver Goss
National Squad member Oliver Goss.

Fifteen players make up Golf Australia’s National Squad under the direction of Golf Australia High Performance Director Brad James.

The squad is broken down into three levels – Tier 1 , Tier 2 and Junior Squads.

“We want to produce golfers who are capable of winning Major championships, Olympic medals and Top 100 World Ranking positions,” James said.

“This is a long term vision representing a long term investment. We want to build players who’ll be better for the long term development of the game so we can produce more Greg Norman’s, Karrie Webb’s and Jason Day’s.

On current form, four key names spring to mind.

"I'd have to say Oliver Goss from Perth to start with," James said.

"He's emotionally strong and technically and physically he is the most prepared to be a professional golfer. New South Wales's Jake Higginbottom also has a unique ability to produce results when it counts," James added.

"Minjee Lee and Breanna Elliot are the ones to watch on the women's side," James said.

Lee and Elliott are ranked 4 and 9 in the world.

"Emotionally, Minjee is in tune with her ability. She understands the work ethic and desire required to be an elite professional golfer."

"Breanna has improved her technical and physical aspects and professionalised her approach."

Elliott will be among those contenders at the upcoming US Women’s Amateur championship and James says her game is developing well.

“Breanna certainly has the experience,” James said.

“She played well last year in US Amateur, made the Match Play and lost in the first round. I think her game is probably two or three shots better than it was last year,” he added.

The High Performance team will land in Houston in the coming weeks for a mid-year camp at the Woodlands Resort to catch up with National Squad members competing on the US circuit.

“Our players in the US are overseas for an extended period of time and they get a lot of burnout and they are playing poorly so that is why we’re holding a camp and clinic,” James said.

“At our camps we provide an environment for them where they get the opportunity to check in and take a temperature on where their game is currently at. If there any red flags on a particular aspect of their game, we can work on fixing and fine-tuning those issues at the camp,” James added.

The camp has been deliberately placed in the schedule to have players prepared for major events on the circuit.

“Primarily this is to get our players better prepared for the big events in the US like the US Amateur and Western Amateur. Those are two core events where success can open a lot of doors for you,” James said.

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