Global Junior Tour

Greg Norman Champions Academy Invitational Barefoot GC at North Myrtle Beach 🇺🇸

We woke up this morning to a beautiful cold morning for Rick’s 9:20 tee time. Rick, Herman & myself were up to the golf club for breakfast & Monique stayed back to pack for our 5 hour drive up to Richmond when Rick is finished. 

In the clubhouse they were still not sure if they would start on time because of the frost. Once the sun’s up it defrosts pretty quick & they have several options…… tee times stay are they are, start the first few groups with a shotgun over the first few holes or a two tee start….. with the latter looking favourite.

The range was still closed at the Academy so there were a lot of kids hanging around….. but the gym was open.

And Rick’s favourite from last year….. flexible eh!! Even Herman had a go in the gymI’ll pass😜

s the GNCA delivered the news that there would be a 1 1/2 hour delay and there would be a two tee start and Rick would be starting on the 9th. So what to do? Rick & I jumped on the shuttle bus back over to the Barefoot clubhouse for a coffee, relax & a chat for 30 mins.

Back on the shuttle bus for the couple of minutes ride to the Academy & start again with the warm up. They were ferrying us out on the shuttle bus & we headed over there without the 3rd member of the group a Polish player….. nobody had a clue where he was….. We found out later he couldn’t be bothered anymore, if that was the case he needs an enormous kick up the backside acting like a spoilt brat!!!!

Anyway that’s not our problem…..It’s a great scoring day out there, sunny, not a breathe of wind perfect. 

After two nice shots, his approach just ran off the back at the par 5 9th (Rick’s first) not to far from the flag, nice putt from off the green he missed his short par putt… pity. 

A great shot at the difficult par 3 next and 2 safe putts for his par. He bogeyed the 11th & 12th but his mood on the course was good & positive. He has obviously lost a bit of confidence with his irons off most tee’s and hitting a lot of 3 iron’s but, when he hits his woods he’s getting them in play & good distance, but with him safe off the tee that leaves him a long way back compared to his playing partners. Trust it my boy!! 

Two solid par’s he Rick hit his 2nd shot on front edge where he could use his putter & made a nice birdie at the par 5 15th. 

A good tee shot at the next he got a little enthusiastic with his birdie attempt & missed the par putt return, still he looked like he was enjoying himself out there. 

After a good tee shot at the 17th, he hit a wayward 2nd out to the right into a deep bunker & played a lovely bunker shot, but unfortunately missed a short putt for his par. 

A text book par at the par 5 18th he headed back over the road to the first hole 4 over par.

He hit 3 wood & got a break when he clipped the branches down the left side and then hit a lovely approach to give himself a good birdie chance, unfortunately he couldn’t convert… a good tee shot & again a lovely approach, but again missed a good birdie chance. 

On the par 3rd he again hit a lovely approach, but again missed his birdie . 

Rick’s hitting the ball lovely and needs a bit of luck to get a birdie. That comes at the very next hole when he blocks his tee & is heading in the trees but gets a lucky bounce back into play. It’s a break but by no means an easy approach with a mid iron that he has to cut round the overhead branches. He hits a fantastic shot onto the green and pours the putt in for a birdie. great!!! 

Onto the par 5 5th he finds the green in regulation, but 3 putts to give the birdie back from the last. 

A good par at the tricky 6th, he missed the green in the greenside bunker pin high left on the 7th, he played a lovely bunker shot close to the hole…..

bit missed the putt…… pity!!

A short walk over to the next tee, players got a bit of a fright when a bird 🦅 dropped down in front of them

On to his last a short par 4 that’s a good chance to finish on a high….. Lack of concentration or just a bad swing he missed the fairway into the waste area where he missed the green and made a bogey for a 6 over 78…..

10 minutes of being pissed he was back to his normal cheery self and signed his card and headed to Putters for a bite before hitting the road up to Richmond a five hour drive.

Global Junior Tour

Greg Norman Champions Academy Barefoot GC at North Myrtle Academy USA

2nd round today after the disappointing day yesterday…..Rick’s mood was a great deal better than last night and at least he was talking…..a bit. 

He had a 11:50 start time, so it was up to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast, before heading up to the range to warm up. He followed his usual warm up, going into the gym to stretch and get loose, before hitting balls. 

Going thru the bag, he was hitting it not so good and started to fall back into his mood a bit from yesterday, hey it’s only the range, but I understand his frustration.

It was then off to the 1st tee and I wished him all the best and said go and play golf and not worry so much about the score and his swing. 

He bogeyed the first, 2nd hit his tee shot ob & made double, 3rd bogey, good par at the fourth then made a bomb for bird on the par 5th, but gave it straight back on the next. 

He hit a bad shot at the par 3 7th and made in the end a good putt for bogey the turning point? 

From here on in he started to play golf. Tee shot on 8 into position solid approach chance for bird …. par. Great drive down 9 good lay up, but unfortunately pulled his approach left of the green, but saved par…. 5 over at the turn.

Back nine

He missed the green on the good side on 10 and made a standard, but nice up & down to save par….then onto the 11th where he had the disaster 9 yesterday. A good ultra safe 3 iron from the tee split the then hit his approach from a long way back straight at the flag and safely negotiated two putts for his par…5 better than yesterday…“great”. 

Then again at the 12th, a difficult he played ultra safe with an iron from the tee and hit another solid long iron into the heart of the green with a 2 putt par. 

Hole 13 is a difficult par 4 today into the wind…a good tee shot and a strong long iron he made another bomb for a bonus….birdie. After the 13th you are over the worst and a good chance to par in and maybe pick up a bird or two.

A nice tee ball on the fairway Rick hit an ugly approach pulling it way left leaving an awkward chip over the dip to the flag with the water lurking at the edge of the green…… Not his best chip, Rick 2 putted for a bad bogey, but the next hole is the easiest hole on the course a reachable par 5 to try and bounce back with. A good drive, Rick can reach the green with a long iron, but cought it a bit thin coming up 20 or so yards short of the green, but no problems…. he putted from off the green to about 3 yards then had a “blackout” and 3 putted it..argggh. 

A great tee shot to set up a good birdie chance at the par 3 16th, but unfortunately couldn’t convert. 

Rick bombed a drive down 17 and landed the ball 3 yards over the flag to the receptive green and screwed back stiff…bird. 

He hit a nice tee shot on 18 and played a nice lay up in to position. His approach over the water to around 15 ft he lipped out with his putt that was a little bit to hard…. 5 over 77.

A good performance after hole 7….. He has to learn to get over his nervs and some of the nonsense in his head and even after a bad round that he can appreciate the position he’s in playing on great courses that after the round he can’t get do anything about…..He’ll get there but hopefully sooner rather than later.

Tomorrow he plays the last round teeing off at 9:20, then we are in the car for 5 hours up to Richmond so this could be the last blog for a few days, even could be when I’m back in the Netherlands.

Till next time.

Herman, Rick, Monique & Garry

Global Junior Tour

Greg Morman Champions Academy Barefoot GC at North Myrtle Beach….. South Carolina

Don’t forget to give a like or comment on the blogs so I know they are reaching you and you are enjoying the blog. So I’m not just talking to myself!

So, here we are, the first round of the Greg Norman Champions Academy Invitational, Rick is teeing off at 10 o’clock with a Norwegian & a Dane. First though,  it was up to to the club for breakfast and relax before the battle begins.

After brekkie, it was over to the academy in plenty time, before the 10 o’clock start. Practice or the warm up was nice..productive!!! Rick did his usual warming up, popping into the gym to stretch before hitting balls. I would love to see this more in the Netherlands (that there was a gym for members/players to go to before embarking on their round of golf) “why”? So they could get the most out of there golf, thus giving them more pleasure and enjoyment in our sport & that would give a nice extra to the club membership.

Rick went thru his usual routine… thru the bag and round the putting green. Then it was off to the 1st tee.. 

On the tee from the Netherlands Rick Hessing…. snap hook… arghhh!! 190 or so in for his 2nd shot,he committed to a 3 Iron and almost hit a shot with spectacular result, unfortunately it was plugged under the lip of the bunker and an unplayable lie….. started with a double….. bollocks… 

After a pushed drive at the 2nd and a recovery Rick made a great up & down for a par save. 

Great tee shot at the 3rd and a good birdie chance, he brushed the hole with his birdie attempt…par. 

Solid par on the difficult 4th it wasn’t that bad a start considering. 

At the Par 5 5th Rick pulled his tee shot left…not to bad, then a good lay up into position, he unfortunately had a “mud ball” (a mud ball in golf is where there is a lot of mud on the ball and the player is not exactly sure where the ball will go…. he approached the green with a poor shot well left, but on the green…..3 putt bogey. 

After bogeying, unnecessary holes 6 & 7 he rolled in a beautiful putt from around 20ft for birdie on the 8th, then gave it back again with an again unnecessary bogey at the par 5 9th…again bollocks!!! 5 over at the turn.

He hit a lovely shot over the flag at the difficult par 3 10th and left the putt on the lip…par. 

The 11th a straight forward par 4, he blocked his tee shot out of bounds hitting the roof of a house… Bollocks no. 3…. he then followed suit blocking his 2nd ball also ob, 5 off the tee and a few shots later it all added up to a 5 over par 9…..bollocks no4. 

He followed that with bogies at the 12th & 13th before hitting it stiff and making a bird on 14…. 

Rick played 15 & 16 solid and had an outside chance for birdie on both holes. 

He again made an unnecessary bogey on 17, but bounced back with a lovely birdie on 18 for an 11 over 83…..bollocks no5. 

Rick was pissed, Monique, Herman & I are too frustrated for him……he gives so much for his golf, we of course want him to do well. But that gives you no guarantee!!!!!

It’s interesting how other people see golf courses. I spoke to a Portuguese father of a player and he said to me, that the course is quite easy and although it asks the question there are a lot more difficult courses out there… interesting

Till Tomorrow.

Rick, Herman, Monique & Garry

Global Junior Tour

Greg Norman Champions Academy at Barefoot GC North Myrtle Beach USA

Firstly, I wanna start with saying that I’m getting great reactions from you about my blog’s and it’s very much appreciated, also I’m hearing that for some people the videos are not loading and for others they are. Not sure, but I’ll do my best to see why.

We woke up this morning to find out the water was off. Herman called to find out more… 30 mins they said, so a bit of patience was required before we could hit the showers. An hour later…still nothing, so it was getting dressed and off to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast without a shower “this could be a smelly day”

After the steak breakfast…even Monique was on the steak this morning and did a sterling job finishing it off…top job Monique 👏🏻, it was off to Barefoot to practice today, the plan is to basically be on misery hill (the range) most of the day and play a few holes, then chill before the opening dinner this evening. Today the weather was nice, really nice compared to the weather report from “Opa Henk” back in the Netherlands, it was 17-18 degrees and not a cloud in the sky with a little breeze..not much, but enough to make it interesting out there on the “hill”. You can hit from both ends of the range here at the Academy and from the academy end the breeze was left to right, a right handed golfers worst wind to practice. So, it was what Rick does at the academy end of the range, he has to replicate at the members end with the right to left wind to stay balanced. 

While Rick and I worked on the range for several hours, Herman & Monique went off to the Walmart to get some supplies in for the apartment. For those who don’t know, Rick is now at school in England, about a half an hour or so south of London at the Golf College where there are several coaches, one who is Denis Pugh that he sees say once a month. We are all working trying to give Rick the best possible chance to succeed…..all working for Rick.

At the Academy end he hit full shots, then spent the majority of time around the green chipping & putting. Yesterday was all about getting the pace of the greens and getting used to the different grasses then what he’s used to in Europe. Today it’s about taking more time reading them. The 17th green on the Norman course is directly behind the Academy, so we played down the 18th… 3 wood, 7 iron lay up 110 yard PW…solid, pure!!!

We had a coke at the Putters Pub, then basically did the same what he did in a left to right wind, he did now in a better right to left wind….. We had a bit more fun with playing closest the flag with Herman, Rick & myself on the range keeping the mood light & not serious…. keeping Rick loose is important as if he starts hitting it wayward on the range he get’s a bit p’d off. 

We had a quick bite snack in Putters, then we played the first 4 holes……the first 4 holes are tricky and important to get off to a good start. He was positive from the 1st tee shot, see it, feel it and pull the trigger.

 

If you’ve followed my blogs from other tournaments, Rick tends to get nervous and tentative and looses a bit of confidence and takes a lot longer over his shots than normal, overall Rick is generally a quick player. The way he practiced & played the first 4 holes today, if he does that this week he’ll have an enjoyable week and will put in a good performance.

 

After he was finished it was back to Putters Pub for a well deserved drink and after 2 days of prep…..Rick’s ready!! 

Back to the hotel and the water was on, but no hot water so after a call to the reception we had to move apartment… from the 19th floor down to the 7th, it was a mad dash before we headed up to Barefoot for the 

opening speeches from Jose Fernandez & from Global Junior. It’s great to listen to them….they are so positive and give great encouragement to the kids, very respectful and with Jose, Scott & their team along with Global are very helpful. It was also nice to give a hand to Head Pro Scott Shobe from the Academy, who I met last year, it was only in the passing & hopefully will be able to have a chat with him this week. We sat at the table along with 2 players with their fathers/coaches from Portugal. After dinner it was back to the hotel to finish our move and relax in front of the tv. We watched the Golf Channel interview from David Feherty with Phil Michelson, although I had seen it before, I still love listening to Mickelson… a true gentleman & great ambassador for our game. Then it was off to my room to do the blog while watching a game that I’ve followed for a long time and love watching every week… NFL. Tomorrow Rick starts at 10 o’clock along with a Norwegian & a Dane….. But who will be great? We’ll see.

You can follow Rick’s live scoring on http://www.globaljuniorgolf.com.

Till tomorrow sports fans.

Herman, Monique, Rick & Garry

Global Junior Golf Tour

Greg Norman Champions Academy Barefoot GC at North Myrtle Beach USA

After an early night and waking up at 5:30 this morning, it was nice to call Tanja and see how everything was back on the home front. Thankfully, or not, Tanja & my boys Ryan & Connor are well and not missing me haha.

It was in the planning to start the day off at a place where a lady told us to go last year for a proper America breakfast, The Cracker Barrel, now yesterday we had an unbelievable brekkie, but this was the Champion breakfast. The Cracker Barrel’s menu is based on traditional Southern cuisine, with appearance and decor designed to resemble an old-fashioned general store. Each restaurant features a front porch lined with wooden rocking chairs, a stone fireplace, and decorative artifacts from the local area. Cracker Barrel is known for its partnerships with country music performers.

So,  it was the old faithful for the gents eggs,hash browns, steak with the rest & Monique did fantastic to polish off her plate. After the Cracker Barrel it was up to the golf course to register & get all the tournament information for the coming week. It is great to see Josh from the Academy again, he helped, like all the staff last year so much to make our week memorable. We collected our badge (money clip) so restaurants, staff & members can see we’re with the tournament. 

Rick uses a trolley on the course & in the US people ride in a buggy or carry their bag & trolley hire is basically none excitant, so Herman & I popped down to the PGA Superstore to find a trolley for the week. OMG!!!

Now…. I started playing golf in 1982, I’ve been around the block a few times, I did my PGA training in a pro shop, I’ve played golf all over the world, but I have never…. never seen a golf shop so big as this….. Think IKEA….. what a shop….. unbelievable, unbloodybelievable, incredible how big it was…. they had everything & I mean everything….. but only had 3 trolley’s. So, Herman grabbed one for the week on a good deal.

Back over to Barefoot to catch up with Monique & Rick, Rick practiced for an hour & half or so, then over to the course to play. 

Today is the first practice round and we teed off at 1 on our own. What Rick is trying to get out of his practice round is to familiarize himself with course from last year & get the pace of the greens & spend time chipping around the greens.

Barefoot has 4 courses….. Norman, Love, Faxio & Dye……. they are all serious golf courses & I mean serious. I would put them up there with your Dutch, International, Haagsche, Noordwijk, Kennemer, in terms of difficulty. There is no messing around here, this is a golf course that ticks all the boxes.

It was good to get 18 holes in…. tomorrow should be easier…. 2nd practice round, but not necessary 18 holes. 

We had a little $1 bet closest the hole on the 16th, the 3 of us Herman, Rick & myself. A lovely little par 3 160 yarder down the hill….

Fortunately for me I stuck it in there quite close to win the $$$’s… thanks boys 😂. 

After the 18th we were all a bit peckish and headed into the Putters Pub at the members end of the range. Rick went out to finish the day off….. last man on the range to work on a few things. 

We fooled around with the camera & shot a few cool vid’s

& The old guy also managed to sclaaf a few….Then it was back to the hotel to chill & freshen up before dinner. Tonight we were eating at Nacho Hippo’sMonique & Rick were a bit tired and still full from Putters, so passed on dinner at Nacho’s…. so it was only Herman & myself.

Tomorrow is the last practice round before the tournament starts on Friday.

Till tomorrow,

Herman, Monique, Rick & Garry

Global Junior Golf Tour

Greg Norman Academy Junior Invtational at Barefoot GC North Myrtle Beach

Here we go again….brilliant way to finish off the year in the USA.

This year, accompanying Rick, are his parents Herman & Monique along with myself. Past Sunday the snow arrived in the Netherlands and not just a little.

We were traveling on the Monday and to beat the snow we left early to Schiphol, with thanks to one of our junior members (thanks Florian), who kindly drove us a couple of hours to Amsterdam. The roads were ok and due to the bad forecast the motorway was really quiet.

Our flight was a direct flight to Philadelphia at 12:30 and we were hoping to get lucky and out before the snow forecast was due to hit. Unfortunately we didn’t make our departure time and had to sit on the plane for a good 90 minutes while the ground team de-iced the plane. The seating wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be on my aisle seat and with Netflix (thanks Rogier) stocked up we were ready to go. As the weather was bad and we were heading into a strong head wind we were told we had to make a planned stop to refuel in Gander, Canada.

We arrived in Philly at 6:30pm ET 3 hours later than our scheduled arrival, now going thru the airport went without any hiccups, until Customs…… I got a Custom Officer who was the most arrogant, trying to show power of authority, asshole you could imagine and was treating the people like s$&t…. a complete tool. We had to wait forever on our bags at the baggage reclaim too. 

The plan this year is to make a bit of a road trip, Herman had a car hired for the 9 hour journey down the east coast of America, tonight we were driving 4 1/2 hours to Richmond Virginia and drive the rest today to Myrtle Beach. 

Although darkness had fallen it was nice to drive thru cities Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington and seeing some of the houses decorated for Christmas and boy do they know how to do that. We arrived completely shattered after I don’t know how many hours we were on the go yesterday. Herman was top dog getting us to our hotel in Richmond in the early hours of the morning.

After a good sleep and lovely shower we headed downtown for a typical American breakfast at a diner on the advice from the hotel staff, and they did a sterling job sending us to Perly’s Diner. Wow…..wow what a feast….Then we were off on our 5 hour road trip!!

It was a plesent drive down thru Virginia then onto North Carolina then over the state line and into South Carolina North Myrtle Beach. We arrived just before 4 and drove straight to the Barefoot GC. 

There are 4 courses here the Norman, Love, Dye & Fazio and it’s where Greg Norman has his Greg Norman Champions Academy.The driving range is 500 yards away from the clubhouse with the academy on one side of the range and the members using the other side, at the member side is where Rick hit a few balls to stretch his legs after a long trip. Also there is a short 2nd clubhouse to cater for the members & visitors and we grabbed a drink & a quick bite.

We watched Rick spend about an hour on the range

before heading to check into the hotel, we’re up on the 19th floor.

Till tomorrow…..

Herman, Monique, Rick & Garry

Scottish Boys 2nd Round

So, we all managed to have a welcomed lie in this morning & after some bacon rolls for breakfast, I managed to get along to see one of my friends Barry to say hello at the golf shop, always nice to get the rounds in before heading back to the Netherlands. My brother popped down with Leslie & the kids to say hi, it’s good to see how his kids, Caeden & Isla, have grown since I last seen them. 

We went out to warm up at the “patch” (practice ground) at Carnoustie where the turf is similar to Monifieth…..Today the wind was still there, but not as much as the previous day’s.

So, the plan for Rick today is to go out, stick to his routine & commit to his shot choice. No indecision, no backing off…. no no no!!! Just do it……

Ready to go……

Routine good, over the ball good… bang… good solid opening tee shot, routine good, over the ball good… bang… good solid approach to the middle of the green & 2 solid putts…. this was the story for the first 6 holes, with the exception of 5, where Rick found the greenside bunker, there he played a lovely bunker shot to save his par & on 6 his pitch just kept running & running over the green where he dropped his first shot of the day…. still, no man overboard or so we thought. 

“A learning moment” A pushed tee shot on the 7th into the semi, but between hitting his drive & his 2nd shot, is where the group got their first official slow play warning of the day…this unsettled Rick and cut his 2nd shot right & lost his ball in the sea grass…. now you could say they could’ve avoided this by playing quicker (they were almost 2 1/2 holes behind the group in front). He wasn’t alone by playing slow… his playing partners were also not the quickest, but they handled it better. Rick is in not a slow player, in fact he’s pretty quick… , but the organization of his bag, him being nervous getting to his ball & “arsing” around, then the indecision adds up and them losing the place in the course with other groups, this is what we need to work on. His 4th shot was in the bunker, on the long, into the wind 7th where he splashed out but proceeded to 3 putt for an 8…..arggghh. 

Yesterday he birdied the hole, where you could say he gained two shots on the field & today he gave 3 back… Typical links, you get something with on the one hand & you give it back with the other. A par at 8 & a deflated 2nd shot way right on 9 led to another bogey, which led to an outward 9 of 42 blows. (Photo was his 3rd shot on 9)

Fairway, green, 2 putts on the 10th for a par, then back into the wind for the short 11th, where he doubled yesterday. A par here would get back 2 shots from yesterday, but unfortunately Rick missed the green to the right similar to yesterday, to make another bogey… 

Here I bumped into two old guys I have known for a long time Scott Knowles is now involved in the Scottish team’s & former British Amateur Champion Stuart Wilson, who both played at every level of international amateur golf, who both are working at The Royal & Ancient for the GB&I teams. They are out watching Jamie Stewart, who is one of Britain’s best players & is in the same group as Rick. Rick’s worst tee shot in 2 days, into the heather left of 13, where he hacked out for another bogey & a 3 putt bogey on the par 3 14th. Good tee & approach shots on 15 &  16, where he 2 putted both for solid par’s. Jamie Stewart, Rick’s playing partner is now leading the tournament & is 5 under for the day standing on the 17th.

After a good tee shot he pulled his 2nd shot left onto the 18th tee (Rick needed a ruling from a refereee on the other side of the green in Jamie’s line of view, where both referee and Rick were moving around & Jamie stepped out several times, they both could’ve handled it better). Jamie made a mess of it for a double, to drop back for a tie for the lead. 

Rick chipped after his free drop from the road  & 2 putted for another bogey. The last 1 1/2 hours the wind has got up & has got very cold…. Rick’s approach to the par 5 last found the right greenside bunker and a reasonable bunker holed a great putt for a 81 & a score of 17 over & the cut being on 11 over….. frustrating “yes”, can he do better “yes”, will he do better “absolutely”. 

It’s good for him to see the level of other players again from other countries…. he played with Jamie Stewart, who is leading the tournament & one of Britain’s leading under 18 players, Rick doesn’t hit it any worse than him, Rick probably hits it a little further than him….. more & more it’s going down the road of the correct shot choice, organization with his bag & preparation, short game & more mental game….. next up are several tournament’s in Holland, then over to play the Scottish & English under 16’s & English Boys in July. 

He’s progressing nicely & is learning from his experiences…..

GO GET THEM RICK!!!!!