Monthly Archives: December 2016

Greg Norman Junior Invitational at Myrtle Beach USA

On our way home 

Sunday 

So, we’re heading home today & it’s gonna be a long one. We had to be ready at 10:30 to get the shuttle to the airport, so we decided to finish our week in Myrtle Beach the way we started it by having breakfast up at the Cracker Barrel. This is fantastic place with a shop at the front & a restaurant at the back, open from 6 in the morning till 10 at night, we both went for

  Grandpa’s Country Fried Breakfast.                   

Two eggs* cooked to order with Grits, Sawmill Gravy, homemade Buttermilk Biscuits, real butter and the best Preserves, Jam n’ Apple butter (on request) we could find. Served with Fried Apples or Hashbrown Casserole and Chicken Fried Chicken or Country Fried Steak.       

We went for the steak & for 9 bucks it was deeeeeelicious!!!!

A short walk back to get the bus & we were heading to airport, with us in the shuttle were Jeremy & his mother from Austria, it was a nice drive that took about 40 mins, when we arrived last week it was getting dark so you couldn’t see much, with it now being daylight there seemed an endless amount of golf courses, restaurants, adventure golf. We went past a PGA Tour superstore that was not far being the size of the IKEA.       

On arriving at the airport we were greeted at the front door by a sign, thankfully Rick had left his at home 😜We got checked in and made sure we never had any of these at security, We headed for Nacho Hippo’s for a drink before our 1:24 flight to Philadelphia (we bumped into several other players from the tournament at the airport & our roommates at the start of the week had their flight to Charlotte cancelled, so they’re trip was going be very long ). 

On Sunday in America the whole country stops for the football 🏈 not ⚽️, everyone is right into it…. so it’s church in the morning then watch the football the rest of the day. It was a short flight up to Phili and we were there at 3 o’clock, but our 9pm scheduled flight to Amsterdam was delayed until 11:05pm. We grabbed some lunch at one of the bars & watch the football 🏈 on one of there many tv’s

This was a cool bar as you place your order  with an iPad, I had a pint of the usual with mac & cheese, Rick created his own burger & chips with a coke.                             

With having so much time we headed out of the airport to catch a cab 😜 to go downtown Phili, we headed for 16th & Cheshnut seemingly to place to go, so we were told. It was a great sight driving in to the center with the skyline of the city.We walked around for a couple of hours trying to perfect our American “how you doin”  accent and were in awe of the buildings & skyscrapers. We got back to airport for around 6:30 and wandered thru the huge airport & ended up back at our favourite iPad bar to watch the Cowboys against the Bucs (another football 🏈 game).                      We got to our gate in plenty time where we found out we weren’t sitting beside each other I was in 13 E & Rick in 34 D and the plane was full. It was a small plane with 3 seats on each side and it was jammed, the German guy I was sitting beside who had been traveling for the past 48 hours was furious at the size of aircraft. (unlucky for Rick the guy sitting at the window must of eaten some that didn’t agree with him and hueyed (was sick)  over himself and needed to get the toilet quick. After checking on Rick a couple of times to see if he was alright he was long gone in the land of nod, we arrived back in Schipol after a 6 1/2 hour flight to be welcomed by Herman & Monique waiting for us.  Back in the Nertherlands. It was a great week that went past way to quickly, it was great to be in & about a top junior tournament organised by the Greg Norman Champions Academy, a fantastic academy,  run by some of the most friendly & helpful people if ever met. 

Also the Barefoot GC who were too extremely helpful & too all volunteers that helped on the course as well as of it. It was also great to be away with Rick for a week & we both learned a lot and will look back on this as a valuable experience.               

A massive thanks……a real massive thanks to Herman & Monique for giving me this opportunity to accompany Rick to the other side of the pond….. I’m just glad that I brought him back in one piece or is it that he brought me back in one piece😜 either way we’re both happy to be back home. 

Merry Christmas πŸŽ„                                               &                                                                              A Happy  New  Year.                                      

Rick & Garry 

PS I wonder if the Aussies are home πŸ˜‰

Greg Norman Junior Invitational Myrtle Beach USAΒ 

SORRY FOR THE DELAY THE WIFI AT THE HOTEL WASN’T WORKING SATURDAY & SUNDAY

Saturday

Last round

So, last round tee time at 9:30 playing with a Swede & a Venuzalen…. great experience for these juniors to play with other juniors from around the world. The usual preparation…. upto the club for breakfast and then over to the Academy to warm up. It was a lot warmer than yesterday’s cold wind.

So, with Rick being really nervous the last few days, today was to try and speak more to his fellow players, get to know, get to know their background & enjoy himself  on the course…. basically to have a little distraction instead of blocking everything out & building the tension in his body. 

On the tee I met Stefan’s father from Venezuela who was walking with the group (remember no caddies allowed). Not a great drive but a good shot into the fringe not far from the flag…3 putt bogey!!! After a good drive on 2 he pushed his approach right of the green, but made a good up & down for his par. Another missed green at the next, he never got up & down this time… bogey which he followed up with another bogey at the 4th… a good par save on on 5. He made a silly bogey on 6,  after missing the green. A good up & down from the bunker on 7, he made another solid par on 8.                            

Now standing on the 9th, the scene of the 9  a day earlier, a good tee shot, referred to his yardage book, laid up before the bunker, played a lovely approach & just missed his birdie knocked it in for an easy par. If only if only!!!! 4 over after 9, not to bad!!!

He under clubbed at the next, but almost holed his bunker shot…. Par & a par at the next “solid”.      The 12th where he made a triple yesterday, solid drive, he then hit a fantastic approach to a yard for a tap in birdie. Par, par, at the 13th & 14th he hit two good shots, to be 30 yards from the flag in two at the Par 5, not at a great chip he then rolled in a 10 footer for another bird… back to 2 over for his round. 

The scorer had a nice golf cart at the back of the green.

On 16, a reasonable straight forward par 3. He hit his worst shot of the day by missing the green by 30 yards, a misjudged pitch, he then 3 putted for a double…. ouch!!! A good drive up 17 and 2 solid putts for a solid par, he played the 18th pretty much the same way…. fairway, good lay up, nice approach & just missed his birdie & tapped his par putt in for a best of the week 76….. 

After the round he was in a lot better mood & we shared a plate of chips, then hit the pro shop for some goodies!!

Back to the hotel to get ready for tonight’s closing ceremony and dinner. He had deserved a bubble bath in his room. 

And for me, it was watching the college football 🏈 with a fantastic sunset. 

Off to the official dinner at the Dye Clubhouse. We were sitting with the guys from a πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ and one father was a professional tennis coach. The final leader board was;

After the dinner were all the speeches and prize giving.On the way back we were in the bus with the Aussies again. We had to wait for a while, so it was nice to speak to the coach picking his brains for a good 20 minutes. This was a great week  for us both to be in & about Junior golf from around the world. To think that we’ve been all together, all week and all in the same room tonight & within 24 hours we’ll be all in different places all over the world. 

Tomorrow is gonna be a long day, we fly at 1:24 to Philadelphia & have a 6 hour wait then thru the night to Amsterdam.  

Tot snel… back in NL

Rick & Garry

Greg Norman Junior Invitational Mrytle Beach 🇺🇸Β 

Friday 

2nd round

So it was an early start today, although that’s not to bad if you’re in bed before 10 o’clock every night…. Today there is a shotgun start at 11 o’clock because of a cold front coming in. And oh boy was it cold, with a sharp piercing cold wind. We were up to the golf club for breakfast at 8 and it was the same as the last days but the added bonus of pancakes with maple syrup for the second helping. I’ve sent pictures back to Tanja (my wife) as we do in the Jack household of our meals when I’m away, strange but true 😜 and she says the American food doesn’t look that great ( to be polite). Comments??

We headed for the shuttle bus to the range at 9 but the range was still closed till 9:30… So Rick headed inside to the gym for a warm up as we were first there. Kelly Shore from the Academy, Head of Fitness & Nutrition, helped Rick to warm up. 

When we came out the range was busy ofcourse with it being a shotgun start. Rick was hitting it well, shot after shot piercing thru the wind like a “frozen rope”. Chipping & some putting done, everyone complaining about the cold. The Colombian next to Rick was really struggling. I thought he was heading for the North Pole😄😄

Back to the club to find Ricks buggy to take the players to their starting hole. Because we have a shotgun all groups get a buggy drive out to there starting hole, leave it there and after their 18th hole drive the buggy back that has been left there by the group behind them when they teed off. Some sight  and nice organization…Guess what buggy is for Rick…. yes the 1st one… pole position. It was really funny to see all the players drive after one another out to their starting holes. So we headed out after my visit to the pro shop to buy some gloves 

Rick’s starting way out on hole 9 a pretty simple straight forward birdieable par 5. So, he’s had a good breakfast, been in the gym, hitting it great on the range, in pole position with the buggy’s (not that important) and he’s on an easy Par 5……. boom 9…. yes a 9….Strange game golf is sometimes!!! He hit a solid drive never looked at his caddy book and hit it in the bunker, what should never of been in play holy camoly. When I got down and seen the lie which was ok but had a terrible stance  I thought ok… knock it out then knock it on & 2 putt for bogey & take his medicine. So picture the scene…he has 140 yards over 2 bunkers over water over another bunker to a raised green with an awkward stance.       HE GOES FOR IT😱, catches it heavy into the next bunker where he tries again to knock it on the green & catches it heavy again into the water, misjudged his pitch that comes up to short then chips and 2 putts…. “right behind the 8 ball after the 1st hole”. 

Next hole his tee shot comes up again to short but he saves par. Good drive at the next. 2nd shot comes up short in the bunker… bogey. Next hole blocks it out of bounds with his driver… triple bogey 7 (approach from a 100 yards comes up to short again) 8 over after 4 holes… ouch!! A couple of good 2 putt pars from distance (again his approaches coming up to short). The par 3 16th (Rick’s 7th) comes up again way to short but plays an awesome chip & holes  it… birdie. He follows that up with a four pars but he’s 8 over after 12…. The course isn’t playing that hard the only thing is, it’s cold, real cold, but there’s a low  score for somebody out there. 

So, I’m thinking par in for 80 and he’s restricted the damage with those two bad holes. Bogey, bogey,  all with approaches that come up to short, a missed  putt for birdie  at the par 5 from 5ft.He then comes up short with his approaches at the next two holes & makes two further bogeys and finishes off with a par for a 12 over 84…. hard very hard on him & I can’t get a word out of him. He needs time alone 5 minutes or so, we chatted, he called his dad, but no matter what anybody says it’s not registering with him…. Quick drink in the clubhouse and we’re back in the shuttle bus to the hotel. It’s 5 o’clock… I tell him “Rick it’s 5 o’clock, I want you out your room in an hour with you smiling” he needs time to digest what happened & he needs it alone. 

At 6 he’s ready to go out for dinner, but he’s not saying much. We’re in the shuttle with 3 Polish players and they’re  speaking amongst themselves. I crack a joke with our driver about there language with them Rick laughs “he’s loosening up!!!

We’re out to dinner almost altogether players, coaches, parents & the organizers….  We talk over dinner & he’s more relaxed and starts wanting to talk about today. He says he’s getting really, really, nervous on the course & is struggling to handle & is really  upset about his score. So we talk about some stuff he can do on the course for tomorrow & we will talk about it more back at the hotel. Back on the shuttle bus, but not before a quick photo outside the restaurant by the Australian coach. We’re on the bus with the Ozzies, 4 players & their coach and the mood is relaxed, with everyone cracking jokes about the weather. Typical ozzies to make you laugh & put a bad score into perspective. A quick talk in the room and he’s a lot better, but still sore than a few hours ago. 

These players here can hit the ball, they can play but it’s getting more & more a mental game than technical, sure there is a long way to go on his technique, but mental strength & mental strength in the face of adversity is a big thing. How to handle things when something bad happens… it’s not easy but if & when Rick looks back, he will learn more about himself & his game today than shooting a level par.                                        Unfortunately there will be many, many, more of these days, but when it goes right it feels great, that’s why we keep coming back to play this great game. 

Tomorrow is another day & hopefully Rick can post a 77 or under….3 rounds in the 70’s I said… so now that’s under 240. Rick’s playing at 9:30 with players from Sweden & Venezuela, he’s sleeping and I’m watching guess what….

Tot morgen!

Rick & Garry

PS: It’s a long way down from our balcony if you’ve played bad…So, I’ve locked the doors & hidden the keys! πŸ˜‰

Greg Norman Junior Invitational USA

Thursday 

1st round

Rick’s tee time is at 12:10, so we woke early to a spectacular sunrise from our hotel room. 

We were up at the golf club for breakfast at 8:30. The clubhouse opens March through to December at 6:30am every morning that includes bar, restaurant, pro shop & locker room attendant…..everything, January & February at 7. Again a lovely selection laid on for us, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes with lovely bread & juices….. lovely. 

After breakfast we moved my notes over to Rick’s yardage book in his own words over a coffee….. He seemed calm and said he wasn’t nervous at all. (See later) We got the short shuttle journey over to the Academy for Rick to go thru his warm up. He likes to warm up for about 60-70 mins, he had his aim better aided with a couple of clubs on the ground.  β€‹

​

It was cold again today with a good  wind to test the players but at least the sun was out & out of the wind it was actually quite nice. We had lots of time to kill so when Rick was talking to another player I sneaked in to have a quick look round the Academy. It was like a maze with 4 teaching bays, a workshop to work on your clubs, 2 classrooms several offices, a gym & a nutrition room. ​

I even got to talk with the fitness instructor about what the kids do & there workouts. 

What I do really enjoy seeing is how many kids actually carrying their golf bags, ok there are a few with their bags on trollies but I reckon 95% carry their own bags. 

Josh from the Academy said all college golfers carry there bags all the time, bit different back in NL. 😜

Anyway it’s time to go, I can tell how Rick’s feeling…. nervous but he keeps saying he isn’t, nothing wrong with being nervous it’s good to be nervous, to me it means you care about what you’re about to do, something you want to do & want to do well… nothing wrong with that, we get to the first tee in plenty time and see they have moved the tee forward 40 yards. 

Game time

Rick is playing with another European from Norway & the 3rd player has been pulled out.  (see later)                                     It’s time the starter calls; on tee from The Netherlands Rick Hessing and he’s off​​.

​As you can see he backs off from the ball several times, he’s nervous…. he did this all of the 1st 9, that’s where a good consistent pre shot routine, he even came over to ask what side of the tee he should tee his ball up on. He hit a great drive straight down the middle and a lovely iron on the green to about 15-18ft, he rushed his first putt 5ft passed, that’s adrenaline for you and he missed the return – :roll:hmm not the start he was looking for. 

On to the 2nd and he hooked his tee shot against a bush & had to take a penalty shot… another bogey!!! While waiting on the 3rd tee he came over to me and said his legs were shaking on the 1st green…. A good tee shot the 3rd, where again the tee had been moved forward he rolled in for a 🐥birdie 2… ok back in track!! 

A good solid par on the 4th , I bumped into a young man who was spotting on the 4th & as it turned out he was from Mexico & a student from The Greg Norman Champions Academy ….. he was the 3rd player meant to be playing with Rick  & his partner… I asked why he wasn’t playing? He said he had missed an exam for school a couple of weeks ago & he had to do the exam again this afternoon at 3pm. So even if you’re a talented golfer, but your school is not up to standard, they will pull you out of a top tournament like this at his home club.  WOW!!! Tough school!!! But, I like their ways.

A stupid double on the par 5 5th due to indecision again!!

A nice par on 6th & 7th he made a careless bogey on the 8th followed by another silly 3 putt on the 9th, that added up to a frustrating 41 +5, still the other scores weren’t that great.    

Good pars at 10 & 11, he followed that up with bogey bogey on 12 & 13, so he’s now 7 over with 5 to go and the target was under 80. Solid pars on 14,15 & 16, he made a long putt for 🐥birdie on 17. Best drive of the day on 18 & good lay up he pitched over the water & 2 putted for par just before dark. 

A good back nine to finish with a 78. Although several tees had been moved forward this was not to bad… driving back in the buggy Rick said “it felt like somebody had taken my balls😭 off me on the 1st then gave them back on the 14th” so yes he was nervous….really nervous, that’s how important it is to him. 

78 leaves him in 16 place with the leader from Zimbabwe on 70…..                               Rick’s conclusion…… played bad!!!                     Mine……… to much indecision, standing over the ball then stepping out. Poor pre shot routine and not committing to the shots…. but hey he’s only 15, he’s getting there…. the last 4-5 holes are how Rick plays his best golf…. I’ve seen Rick play like he did in his front 9 & throw the towel in & put a mid 80’s score up there but he battled his way round and played better the back 9 & posted a reasonable score. 

Hit 10/14 fairways                                                  13 g.i.r                                                                             35 putts

Not to bad. 

Weltrusten

Rick & Garry

Greg Norman Junior Invitational at Myrtle Beach USA

Wednesday 

Last practice day!!!

We woke up to a cold rainy morning today. Breakfast was organized for the players, coaches & parents at the Barefoot Golf Club where the tournament is being held. 

After breakfast it was back on the shuttle bus for the short drive (5 mins) to the Greg Norman Champions Academy where the practice facilities are at Barefoot. Rick went thru his warm up on the range (See video on facebook).& I tried to stay warm behind him 😜. After he was loose we did a little session going thru his swing. Now is not the time for swing changes just a little tweak with his aim, he has the tendency to aim to far left sometimes and tries to correct it unconsciously in his swing.  After an hour or so on the range we went to short game area, Rick tries to play a “high risk”chip shot that doesn’t react consistently on landing, sometimes its better to dunk it on the green and get it running directly like a putt instead of the fancy spin shot, he can play both shots but gets better results with the straight forward chip & better leave that spiny shot if really needed….. but hey he’s only 15 and it’s a cool shot when it comes off. Now  is just trying to fill him with confidence & getting him ready for tomorrow, after 30-40 mins chipping in the cold we went to warm up. I had to get something extra to combat the cold😨

After the shuttle bus back to the course and a warm hot chocolate in the clubhouse we went over to the putting green to work on the his feel, no stimp signs here  πŸ˜‰ the green is big and undulating and an unusual thing is there are no holes in the green. 

The plan is not to be play 18 holes today maybe 9 or 10 holes then back to rest and get ready for the evening. We joined up on the 1st tee with two Austrian players,one with his mother & the other with her Italian coach. The plan is to play the first 4 holes then jump over to the 13th & play in. Rick was struggling with his driver off the tee, missing on both side, strange cause his 3 wood was going ok. Again the course is very wet so it’s playing all of its 7035 yards (roughly 6300 meters). 

We were finished around 2 o’clock and hit some drives on the range to get a bit of confidence back. A bit hungry so we grabbed a hamburger & cheeseburger at the tent by the range which tasted like an old balataπŸ˜„(If you don’t what a balata is ask a golfer that has played for a long time &they’ll explain)

There was a players & companion evening to open the tournament at Barefoot GC. There was a small speech from the Greg Norman staff & Global World sponsors thanking the players for coming but saying a big thanks to the parents for making it possible for the players to come…. Monique & Herman πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ». The tournament organizers told  us the course so wet it may be lift, clean & place this week & a cold front coming in it may be a shotgun start on Friday. But hey we’re not here for the weather we’re here to play a tournament. 

After the speeches we had a dinner at the club and we were on the same table with a father & daughter from Sweden & 2 volunteers from America. 

It’s an individual & team event with Rick playing in the team with a player from the Czech Republic & the other from Iceland, Rick tees off at 12:10 tomorrow (6:10 Dutch time) in the last game out.

 He came over with 15 clubs so we had to leave one out, by practicing the last 2 days, the choice was between a 3 wood or a 3 iron. 

We decided to leave the 3 iron out…… Why?   Because he’s been struggling with his driver off the tee so he can always fall back to his 3 wood & the 3 iron’s lower ball flight with the wet conditions it was the best choice to leave out the 3 iron. 

The clubs are cleaned the prep is done tomorrow I become a spectator for the rest of the week as no caddies allowed so he’s out there on his own. If he gets his drives away & keeps his nerves & concentration he’ll be ok. 
What’ll be a good result for him? 

This is bigger step up for Rick with a lot going on with players from 35 different countries to compete against & college coaches coming to watch. This is a proper golf course,a real proper golf course, if he can have 3 rounds in the 70’s he’ll of done really well,no matter what happens he’ll of done himself, his family, the club & me very proud. 

It’s 9 o’clock now and he’s in bed & it’s another basketball game for me.(I love most sports) 

Tomorrow it’s more my thing Thursday Night Football 🏈. 

Tot morgen. 

Rick & Garry

Greg Norman Junior Invitational at Myrtle Beach USAΒ 

Tried to stay awake as long as we could last night but after 21 hours of traveling it was difficult…After 3 flights Amsterdam-London, London-Charlotte then Charlotte-Myrtle Beach……the Charlotte-London flight wasn’t busy, Rick & I shared  the four seats in the middle with the two of us, (loads of room)we got picked up for a 25 minute bus journey where we shared the shuttle with two players (one from Canada & the other from Zimbabwe)we finally arrived at the North Myrtle Beach Plantation Hotel and a fantastic hotel. 

The hotel is awesome and is divided into apartments sleeping 4-8 people, we are sharing with a mother & daughter from Sweden. 

After getting ourself settled we then went in search of the nearest restaurant to catch something to eat…. Rick was struggling to keep his eyes open but after advice from Hans Loohuis of trying to fall in the rhythm of the time difference I managed to keep Rick awake till 9 o’clock then he was “knockout”…………

Tuesday

We both got a good nights sleep and were awake at 7:30 & ready to get going. We walked to the top of the complex to try and find a cash machine to go. & get some breakfast….. “just down the road” they told us. After walking for a while we walked past a school where we asked again. An elderly lady said it was just down the road😏. She offered to give us a lift and then dropped us off at restaurant to get breakfast………. Now I know a full English Breakfast is a lot of food but here the breakfast was enormous, bacon egg hash browns pancakes with maple syrup the plate was huge, even Rick ordered a steak with it 😜.

We went back to get the clubs and of to the course to register. It wasn’t great weather with the rain and it was a bit cold. Rick registered where he got a goodie back we looked around the Greg Norman Golf Academy. Kids that have a certain level & there parents can fund it,can go to school here & do there education while getting taught for top golf. They were in the gym when we arrived after their lessons. Their day is 7:30-10:30 school then 10:45-12 in the gym and then 1-4 golf 6 days a week. 

We finally got on the Barefoot Resort The Norman course around 12 and because of the rain we used a buggy today to keep us & the clubs dry. 

Rick played alone and I caddied for him, a practice round is all about learning the course and finding out where and where not to hit it. 

The course is wet very wet and is playing long with no run on the ball

This was one of Rick’s drives and it certainly favours the long hitters. 

The course is really really good, a proper tournament course, the second par 3 we had a nearest the pin challenge….

hole 7 175 yards both a 6 iron

Yea Rick… was my 1st shot of the dayπŸ˜‰

 Rick with his $1 winning…. but not for long 😜

As I said it’s all about learning the course & not about the score in a practice round so we were making notes 

The 16th was a short par 3  170 yards downhill, now time to win my money back with another nearest challenge πŸ˜„(he wouldn’t even come on the picture with meπŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„)

We played 17 holes. The 17th green is right beside the range and Rick wanted to practice a little before dark… so he was there for an hour or so….

Not a bad looking range😜the range is 350 yards long & maybe maybe 250 yards wide, it has 4 fairways with 12 -15 greens with bunkers to hit to. In the winter the different type of grass is dormint and it goes a brown colour but the definition is great and great place to practice. 

Back to the hotel chill out before going out for dinner, tonight is the first night where all the players,parents & coaches come together. We are eating a Mexican just up the road😜 Nacho Hippos. We ordered a starter to share. The waiter advised on the Nacho Donald, lobster,shrimps with all the trimmingsstarter he said…. this was enough for both of us with no need to have a main course😜😜😜……

Rick still not completely over the jet lag so he’s in bed, I’ve got the basketball on tomorrow another practice round then the opening dinner in the evening. We learned today in America that a few minutes down the road is 20 minutes in the car😬 so it’ll be on the shuttle bus tomorrow. 

Weltrusten

Garry & Rick.