22 Dec 2023 | Participation | Amateur golf |
MyGolf Deliverer of the Year: Sebastian Howell
by Patrick Taylor
Sebastian Howell grew up obsessed with rugby league, with big dreams of being of being a star footy player. These hopes were put on hold however when he developed arthritis in his toes at a young age. Like many before him, Howell’s first exposure to golf was watching Tiger Woods take professional golf by storm, but it wasn't Tiger's incredible distance, or his killer stare, that captivated Howell. It was the game Tiger was playing, a game that Howell could play even despite his arthritis. "The first time I teed it up was a Sunday junior comp, and I just remember flushing it about 150 metres down the middle," Howell recalls. "I was hooked from the get-go." Howell now helps juniors experience that same feeling. As the assistant professional at The Coast Golf Club, Howell was recently recognised as the 2023 MyGolf Deliverer of the Year. His journey to becoming one of the best junior coaches in the country has not been all smooth sailing. He shied away from coaching kids throughout his traineeship after some bad experiences, but admits that he actually didn't know how to properly coach kids at that point. "I didn't really know how to break it down and use the simplest form of like 'throw this', 'catch that', 'balance here', 'kick this', make it as easy as possible for them to understand," he said. One key resource Howell credits to transforming his abilities as a junior coach is a video on the PGA by highly regarded coach, Denis McDade. "He explained that you can't tell kids this and that, you have to play games and actually make it enjoyable." His move to The Coast Golf Club in Little Bay brought an opportunity for Howell in that he identified a problem at the club and set out to fix it. "As a golf club we were looking at our junior base and it was just dying off rapidly," he said. "So I sat down with some board members and said ‘alright if you guys back me in getting in some equipment, getting the right stuff going, I reckon I can get the junior stuff kicked off’. "Getting the MyGolf program in place was really important, and it just worked! Yeah I love it, it's the best. "The MyGolf program makes everything so much easier. They come to me, I don't have to go to them." The Coast Golf Club certinaly backed Howell in and it has paid off. He has had a positive influence on more than 100 new young golfers who have come into the game. The support Howell has behind him is enormous, receiving an incredible 60 nominations from club members and students for the MyGolf Deliverer of the Year Award. "This award acknowledges the effort and how much I love this game, and how much work I've put in towards it," he said. "There's a lot of days where I'm buggered like I'm exhausted, usually I'm doing 6am to 6pm, but coaching the juniors is the best part of my day."
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