Golf NSW Junior Girl’s State Team Representative Stefanie Hall has arrived home after representing Australia in the 2016 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan. She shared her thoughts on the experience.
Becky Kay, Kathryn Norris and I flew to Japan on Friday, June 10th to compete in the 2016 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup. The tournament was held at the Chukyo Golf Club in Aichi and was supported by Japan Air Lines.
The day after we arrived, we were invited to visit a junior high school for a cultural exchange ceremony. While there, we learnt about the daily routine Japanese students have at school, and we were shown how to perform kendo, which is a form of fighting. We were also taught to play traditional music on drums and perform some ceremonial dances.
We headed to the course for a nine-hole practice round after the school visit to have our first look at the tournament course. My first impression was it was very hilly.
Sunday was the Junior Am-Am and the official long drive contest. I competed for Australia, finishing in 8th place out of nine teams! I think I took one for the team there, ha-ha! Seriously, though, it was very nerve-racking but an awesome experience.
The official practice round was on Monday and, we prepared our game plan for the tournament.
We played on the Ishino Course at the Chukyo Golf Club, and it was in beautiful condition. It had lots of undulating holes which made it very challenging.
The weather was very humid and carrying our clubs made the physical and mental aspects a real test. An interesting thing about the golf course which was a surprise to all of us were the escalators in the middle of the course to take us up the steep hills.
The tournament ran smoothly, and we placed 9th in the Teams event. Overall, though, I felt that my scores could have improved if my approach shots were closer to the hole and didn't leave myself with a lot of long range putts.
Away from the golf course, the Japanese culture was amazing. Dinners were very enjoyable, the weirdest thing I tried was the raw octopus and raw tuna! The way the Japanese present them too was immaculate.
On our final day, we caught the bullet train into Kyoto to visit a temple that was over 1700 years old. To discover the fact that this temple was built without any nails was such an amazing thing!
It was great to have played alongside my teammates Becky and Kathryn for the week, as well as having the guidance of Virginia Irwin, the team Captain, and our Coach Peter Knight. A massive thanks to Golf NSW and Golf Australia for giving me the opportunity.