29 Nov 2023 | Australian Open |
Meet the MyGolfers who will launch the Australian Open
by Tony Webeck
Before the modern-day superstars take centre stage, two golfers with bright futures ahead of them will officially launch the 2023 ISPS HANDA Australian Open at The Australian and The Lakes golf clubs.
Two active participants in Golf Australia’s MyGolf program and Jack Newton Junior Golf events throughout New South Wales, Poppy McLean and Charlie Jones were awarded the Junior on the Move for girls and boys respectively at the recent JNJG presentation night.
What they didn’t know was that, in addition to a trophy, they would be invited to hit the honorary first tee shots at The Australian Golf Club on Thursday morning.
Poppy will hit her tee shot from the first tee in front of the 7am group of John Lyras, Blake Windred and Laurie Canter while Charlie will have the honour of hitting the first tee shot off the 10th tee before Grant Forrest, Jake McLeod and Brett Rumford begin their championship at 7:05am.
For Poppy, it will be the highlight of her first year in golf at The Coast Golf Club in Sydney.
After overcoming the nerves that come with trying a new sport for the first time, Poppy grew in confidence with every event that she played.
She possesses an athletic swing and positive mindset that will continue to help grow her game. Taking part in clinics and lessons through the cadet program at The Coast, Poppy achieved her goal of obtaining an official Golf Australia handicap.
In September, she competed at the Jack Newton International 9-Hole Junior Classic at Singleton Golf Club, taking part in the Girls 9 Years and Under division.
Despite being just 7 years old – and admittedly very nervous playing in such a big tournament – Poppy claimed victory by three shots.
Over the four days of the tournament Poppy conducted herself with positivity and kindness which had a flow-on effect to her playing partners and the JNJG staff conducting the tournament.
In his second year in the Juniors on the Move program, Charlie made impressive progression through the ranks in 2023.
Despite being registered in the Juniors on the Move Newcastle program, Charlie has travelled far and wide to play whenever he can, attending an impressive 16 events and improving his 9-hole handicap by six shots.
With the introduction of the JNJG Under 12 Tour at the start of the year, Charlie obtained an official handicap at Toronto Country Club so that he could test himself in18-hole events on longer golf courses.
By doing that, his game flourished.
His best two scores came at the Wollongong and Wyong Under 12 Tour events where he broke 100 for the first time in JNJG events, beating his handicap by five shots to be named the 10 Years and under Nett Champion at Wollongong.
Not only is Charlie positive about his own game, but he continually shows support and encourages each one of his playing partners, bringing an uplifting spirit to the entire group.
To begin your child’s journey in golf, visit golf.org.au/mygolf/.
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