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Junior News

TrueVisions International Junior Golf Championship 2008 19-21 March, Pattana Golf Resort, Chonburi, Thailand

Brothers Sibo and Sihao Yan f lew the flag for Hong Kong at the seventh playing of the TrueVisions International Junior Golf Championship by recording top-10 finishes. Sihao, playing in the Boy’s 9-10 Division, carded rounds of 80, 80 and 79 to place fourth, while elder brother Sibo finished seventh in the 11-12 Division after rounds of 78, 78 and 72. In the Girls’ 11-12 Division, Kitty Tam missed the cut after opening with rounds of 81 and 84, but ended up winning the consolation bracket with a fine 75 on the final day. Liu Lok-tin, competing in the Boys’ 13-14 category, finished sixteenth, carding three out of his four rounds in the 70s, while Junior Close champion Charles Stone missed the cut in the Boys’ 15-17 Division, but bounced back with rounds of 79 and 76 to finish fourth in the consolation bracket. “I was very pleased with both Sibo’s and Kitty’s final rounds, and Sihao’s fourth place finish,” said National Junior Coach Brad Schadewitz. “The whole group worked really hard, but I think all the players found the greens very difficult and struggled with their short games.”

29th Asia-Pacific Junior Golf Championship 6-9 May, Sherwood Hills Golf Club, Cavite, Philippines

Team Results – Boys’ 1. Thailand 2. Chinese Taipei 3. India 4. Malaysia 5. Korea 6. Philippines 7. Hong Kong 8. Guam Team Results – Girls’ 1. Thailand 2. Korea 3. Chinese Taipei 4. Philippines 5. Singapore Malaysia 7. India 8. Hong Kong 20

Total 870 (+6) 871 (+7) 874 (+10) 887 (+23) 895 (+31) 912 (+48) 942 (+78) 968 (+104) 424 (-8) 435 (+3) 441 (+9) 448 (+16) 474 (+42) 474 (+42) 477 (+45) 488 (+56)

HK GOLFER・MAY/JUNE 2008

It was a generally disappointing performance by Hong Hong’s representatives at the region’s premier junior team championship. Unlike in recent years where players from the SAR had enjoyed high finishes in the individual categories, nobody was able to break through into the top-5 this time around. Both the Boys’ and Girls’ team results were a reflection of that, with the former finishing seventh of the eight participating teams, while the latter propped up the rankings against extremely strong opposition. Thailand had an exceptional tournament, winning both the team events and the overall individual honours. Steven Lam, Charles Stone and Oliver Roberts, competing in the Boys’ A Division, placed sixteenth, n i ne te ent h a nd t went y- si x t h respectively, while Marcus Lam and Terence Ng placed thirteenth and fourteenth in the Boys’ B Division. The Yan brothers recorded similar results, each finishing sixth in the Boys’ C and D divisions. In the Girls’ categories, Nichola Inge placed sixteenth in the A Division, Cheria Heng finished twelfth in the B Division and Kitty Tam grabbed sixth spot in the C Division.

On The Tee Shinichi Mizuno

He’s only been playing the game for 2 years, but already Japanese-born Shinichi has a handicap of 4. A fixture in the HKGA Junior Squad since the start of the year, the 14-yearold West Island School student finished eighth at the recent MacGregor Junior Close and is showing the kind of raw talent that makes him one to watch out for in future events. HKG: How did you get into golf? SM: I was very lucky. My dad joined Discovery Bay Golf Club in 2006 and he introduced me to the game. Now I play twice a week on the course and try to practice as much as possible.

Dial in your WEDGES

Driving the ball 300-yards is all well and good, but in order to shoot really low scores you have to manage your distance control with the shorter irons

HKG: How long have you been in Hong Kong? SM: I was born in Nagoya but my family moved to Hong Kong when I was 6. Hong Kong is home for me.

HKG: What’s your best score? SM: 73. That was at Discovery Bay on the Diamond/Ruby Course. HKG: Do you have a favourite player? SM: I like Hideto Tanihara and Justin Rose. Tanihara seems like an all round good guy and Rose has a beautiful swing.

HKG: If you could change one of the Rules of Golf, which one would it be, and why? SM: Can I change two? [laughs]. I’d like to be able ground my club in bunkers, because I’m such a bad player from sand. Also, Out of Bounds. I’d be happy if OB could be treated the same as a water hazard. What’s in the Bag? Driver: TaylorMade 425 TP with Fujikura 65 stiff 3-wood: Callaway X with Fujikura 65 stiff Hybrid: Callaway Big Bertha Heavenwood H3 Irons: Royal Collection CB with S200 shaft Wedges: Tourstage 52˚ and 58˚ Putter: Yes! Golf Valerie Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

WWW.HKGA.COM

By Brad Schadewitz National Junior Coach

his biggest problems was distance control—and not being able to control the distance of your wedges is obviously detrimental to low scoring. A 300-yard drive is not much good if you miss the green from only one hundred yards away. Below are some of the simple fundamentals that we are work ing on to help Lok Tin dial in those wedge shots and therefore dramatically improve his scoring.

HKG: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your game? SM: Distance is probably my strength— I drive the ball around 265 yards. My short game is my weakness…and my accuracy [laughs]. I am working hard to improve those two things.

HKG: What’s your favourite course? SM: I really like Clearwater Bay. It’s can be really tough when it gets windy and you have to drive the ball well. Outside of Hong Kong, I like the Phoenix Country Club in Miyazaki, Japan. Tiger Woods has played there a few times [in the Dunlop Phoenix tournament].

Junior Training

Photo 1: Rehearse Your Backswing

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iu Lok Tin has been making steady progress with his golf over the past few months, but one of the most challenging parts of the game for him, as with many growing teenagers, has been in the short game department, particularly with his wedges. While Lok Tin’s rapid physical growth—at 6 foot 4 inches he’s one of the most strapping 14-year-old’s around— has undoubtedly helped him become an impressively powerful player, the f inesse and feel shots that are so important for low scoring have presented a few problems from time to time. Lok Tin and I have worked very hard making sure his fundamentals are sound, especially his posture, which is a common issue for taller players. It quickly became obvious that one of WWW.HKGA.COM

Know the distance you want to hit the shot and then decide how much swing you need to hit that distance. I like to imagine my arms are the hands of a clock and then swing to that time. In this picture Lok Tin is swinging to around 9.30. I like to see him rehearse this swing twice before he hits the shot. A long, lazy swing means you’ll decelerate through impact. The key here is to keep the backswing short and crisp. 2

Photo 2: Follow Through

Your follow through distance should be slightly longer than your backswing. This will encourage acceleration through the ball. Remember, deceleration is your biggest enemy when it comes to hitting these shots.

Pro’s Final Thought

In the address position do not put your ball back in your stance, which is something I see a lot of young amateur players do. Instead, put the ball in the middle of your stance and lean your body weight slightly to the direction of the target. This will promote a steeper angle of attack and will result in a cleaner, more consistent strike. If these shots are proving difficult for you, I recommend that this be the first thing you work on in your warm up routine before play or practice. HK GOLFER・MAY/JUNE 2008

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