20 August, 2022
Golfing prodigies come to Kilcoy
FUTURE golfing stars will flock to Kilcoy on Sunday as the Kilcoy Golf Club hosts a round of the Glasshouse Mountains Golf Zone Junior Association (GMGZJA) Futures Tour.
About 70 juniors ranging from five to 17 years of age will play either three, six, nine or 18 holes.
The three-hole, six-hole and nine-hole events have some modified playing and scoring rules to help players transition gradually towards obtaining official handicaps as golf skills develop.
Sunday’s round at Kilcoy follows rounds at Laidley, Murgon, Maleny, Beerwah, Wynnum, Bribie Island and Pine Rivers, with subsequent rounds to be played elsewhere in September, October and November.
Four Kilcoy members will take part on Sunday, with Bobby Grice and Phoenix Sybenga making their first appearance in the Futures Tour.
Ryder Cochran has played in the Futures Tour for the past three years, while Saxon Oldaker (pictured) has played for the past five years.
Aged 10, Saxon said he liked playing golf “because it’s a different sport and not many other kids around Kilcoy play it”.
“Now that I have my club handicap, I love that I get to play competitions with my dad,” Saxon said.
“It’s good to play against older people, not just other kids all the time.
“The older members always encourage me, and I like that.”
Saxon said the Kilcoy Golf Club had been a great support to him in the past five years, while Steve Bichel was a great coach.
“We’ve also had some pro coaches come and help with lessons over the past few years,” Saxon said.
Saxon said that in the past five years he had progressed from playing three holes to six holes, before playing nine holes in the Futures Tour.
“Hopefully in the next couple of years I’ll be playing 18 holes,” he said.
“Mum and Dad take me to training and competitions and it’s fun when we get to play together.
“It lets us have some fun family time; I just wish Mum would play with us one day.”
Saxon said that playing in the GMGZJA Futures Tour had enabled him to play on so many different courses in the past five years.
“I get to play on all different standards of courses, (and) some are very different to Kilcoy’s course, so it makes me have to think and adjust my game,” he said.
“I get to play with so many other kids from all over the region and I’ve managed to make some friends over (the) years as well.
“It’s such an encouraging competition.”
Saxon said GMGZJA president Gary Ellis and his helpers put a lot of effort into these tournaments.
“One thing that the Futures Tour has taught me is that no matter what my score is at the end of each competition, I still have fun every time I play,” Saxon said.
Meanwhile, the Kilcoy Golf Club is keen to welcome new juniors, with a $60 annual fee covering all coaching.
Beginners do not need to bring any equipment, as golf clubs are provided.
Junior coaching is on Thursdays at 3.30pm and some Sunday mornings.
For more information, contact the club on 5405 5705 or junior coordinator Steve Bichel on 0497 276 852.