Ricky Kato works on the Trackman equipment in Houston. Photo: @tonycmeyer
More than 20 of Australia's leading amateur and rookie professional players will spend time in Houston, Texas this week as part of Golf Australia's National Camp at The Woodlands.
Julia Boland, Oliver Goss, Sam Daley, Aaron Wilkin, Nathan Holman, Geoff Drakeford, Viraat Badhwar, Ricky Kato, Jordan Zunic, Brett Drewitt, Ruben Sondjaja, Grant Booth, Ryan Ruffels, Brett Coletta, Grace Lennon, Hayley Bettencourt, Su Hyun Oh, Minjee Lee, Cathleen Santoso, Carly Beck, Jessica Lasky, Jayde Panos and Dee Dee Russell are among those who will participate in this week's camp.
Held annually in Houston, the National Camp has expanded this year to include coach education sessions with many of golf's elite educators.
Neale Smith, former sports psychologist to Jason Day will be joined by Rick Aberman - Sports Psychologist for Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball squad and Minnesota Vikings at the Camp.
Joseph Mayo, Jim Leitz and Matt Frelich from Trackman will be on site as will many of the TPC of Houston’s leading coaches.
Argentinian head coach Santigo Garat, NZ Golf High Performance Manager Gregg Thorpe and former Singapore National Coach Brad McManus will join several U.S College coaches and service providers from across the United States that help form the Golf Australia team.
Golf Australia High Performance Director Brad James said the camp was excellent opportunity for players, both amateur and professional to check-in during the busy northern summer tournament schedule.
"The national camp offers players in the national squad, both amateur and rookie, the chance to take a pulse on their games and spend some time with some of the best coaches in golf," James said.
The concept was first introduced in 2011 to bring together, through the middle of the year, a significant number of players who spend extended periods overseas between June and August.
The camp also serves as preparation for the upcoming Major amateur championships - particularly the U.S Amateur.
“I thought what was needed was a camp as we typically have fifteen to twenty players over here in the US each year for a three month period and one of the reasons we were keen to establish this is that I wanted more players to perform at the Western Amateur and the US Amateur which are of course the two big events here each summer," James said in 2012.
“The Woodlands is really good for us and we have built a great relationship with Kevin Kirk who is the Director of Golf there and we have 100% trust in Kevin to be able to see our elite players during the summer and for them to use the fantastic facilities available there. Woodlands is becoming a U.S home for a lot of the players at this time of year."
Golf Australia conducts a minimum of three National camps per year.
The National camps are conducted at various facilities across the country including Moonah Links Golf Facility on the Mornington Peninsula and the Woodlands facility in Texas, U.S.A.
The National camps also provide educational opportunities for the National coaches as we strive to develop the best coaches in the world. This information can be passed back to the elite coaches in each State program.