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Pitch it Perfect

Kitty claims fabulous victory Rising star Kitty Tam scored a brilliant win in the Girls’ 11-12 age division at the 8th TrueVision International Junior Golf Championship early April, overcoming one of the strongest fields in Asian junior golf. 12-yearold Kitty, one of Hong Kong’s most improved juniors over the past year, defeated Thailand’s Orn-Nicha Konsunthea in a sudden death playoff at Green Valley Country Club in Rayong, after firing rounds of 74, 80 and 74 in regulation play.

Dial in your wedges to lower your scores

Here’s what to do: 1.Grip down the shaft an inch or two, play the ball in the middle of your stance and set your hands and body weight slightly forward (Photo 1). 2.Swing the club back halfway to three-quarters, depending on the yardage, without much wrist cock. 3.The key move is to accelerate through impact and create a feeling of trapping the ball. To do this, keep your hands ahead of the club face at impact. 4.Turn through with your chest facing the target with no forearm or club face rotation (Photo 2).

Hak’s at it again Tsim Sha Tsui-born, Florida-based Jason Hak, who became the youngest player to ever make the cut in a European Tour event at last year’s UBS Hong Kong Open, shot a course record 64 to win t he AJGA Cl if fs Championship at t he end of April. Hak, 14, who had opened with an indifferent 76 in the first round, came roaring back in the second with nine birdies to clinch the event by a shot. “I didn't read the line well yesterday,” said Hak. “I couldn't put everything together, but I did today.”

Steven stars at Nicklaus Championship Steven Lam captured the Mission Hills Jack Nicklaus Junior Championship at the end of April, recording rounds of 73 and 71 to pip Shinichi Mizuno by a shot. Mizuno followed a 76 in the first round with the low score of the tournament – a classy 69 over the Jack Nicklaus-designed World Cup Course. Ambrose Tam and Michelle Cheung rounded out a successful event for Hong Kong players, finishing in fourth and second in the Boys’ Under-15 division and Girls’ Under-15 division respectively.

Liu’s high finish at Faldo Final Liu Lok-tin carded a three-day total of 5-overpar to finish in sixth place at the prestigious Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club late March. Long-hitting Liu was Hong Kong’s best performer, placing ahead of Steven Lam (11th), Stephanie Ho (20th), Tiffany Chan (26th) and Shinichi Mizuno (31st). India’s Rashid Kahn successfully defended his title, finishing the event on a 5-under-par total.

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o succeed in the modern game, learning how to bomb it off the tee and excelling with the wedge is crucial. This is my philosophy when it comes to junior coaching. Get these two things right and the rest of the game will come. As a result, one of the most important goals I set my national team members is to sharpen their games from inside 100 yards. Whether it’s from 50 yards or from 90 yards, I want players to be aggressive with their pitch shots and go for almost every flagstick. Many amateurs struggle with the half or three-quarter wedge shot, but with the correct set-up and swing, it can be a deadly scoring weapon. In fact, one of the key’s to Shinichi Mizuno’s victory at the recent MacGregor Hong Kong Junior Close Championship was his muchimproved wedge game.

Continuing his rivalry with Steven Lam, Shinichi Mizuno finished the Overall Boys’ division at the Asia Pacific Junior Championship in seventh place after firing a four-round total of 295 over the historic Royal Hua Hin Golf Club in Thailand in the middle of May. Mizuno finished six shots behind local favourite Poom Sakansin. Lam, with a total of 299, placed twelfth. In the Girls’ competition, Kitty Tam continued her recent run of fine for with a second place finish in the 11-12 age division. Kitty’s performance helped Hong Kong, also represented by Stephanie Ho and Cheria Heng, to finish the overall team competition in fourth place.

HK Golfer・Jun/Jul 2009

By Brad Schadewitz National Junior Coach

Fault Fixer – The Pro’s Tip

HK players fare well at APJC

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junior training

The common fault with this shot is swinging back too far and then decelerating into the ball. This causes a lot of fat and thin shots and consistent striking becomes nearly impossible. To help solve this, work on relating your back swing with the hands on a clock. For instance, swing back to 9 o’clock (left arm parallel to the ground) for a shot of around 50 yards. To add yardage, simply increase the length of your backswing. For a 60 yard shot, swing to 9.30. For a 70 yard shot, swing to 10 o’clock, and so on. It takes a lot of practice, and you’ll need to learn your own personal yardage gain with each incremental increase. But having a formula for different wedge distances is a sure fire way to lower your scores.

Photo 1 HKGOLFERMAGAZINE.COM

HKGOLFERMAGAZINE.COM

Photo 2 HK Golfer・Jun/Jul 2009

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