On the 10th March 2013 Avondale Golf Club’s Felicity Wittenberg s handicap was 45.4. Fast forward to 10th March 2014, Felicity now plays off 8.3, shaving 37 strokes off her handicap in one year. Fifteen year old Felicity became a member of Avondale Golf Club in late 2012. Speaking about how she was introduced to golf, she said both her father and brothers are members there: My brothers and dad are all very good golfers. They are off plus handicaps and have been Club Champions or have been in Club Championship Finals a number of times. What she enjoys most about the game is spending time playing golf with them. Avondale Golf Club has a great junior program. She participated in their junior clinics first, then moved on to play in their club comps. She entered her first competition, the Avondale Ladies Individual Stableford event, in late December. She started playing weekly after she moved off 45 in March. She squeezed in a bit more golf to play two to three times per week during the school holidays. Felicity noticed her first major drop in handicap from 45 to 37 after she played one of her first 18-holes with the Lady Captain, Trish Kenney. She brushed it aside thinking it was due to handing in only a few cards previously. That gave her a sense that every time she handed in her cards, her handicap would drop. Her handicap plateaued around 31-33 for about three months. Soon enough, her handicap started to drop almost every time she played. She had a few big scores of 44 and 45 which reduced her handicap significantly, eventually her scores averaged to the 30s. Felicity commented, I went from 45 to 37, then skipped 36, going down to 33, and stayed there for a while. Then I had a few small jumps The next big jump was from 27 to 24 ..I went from 21 to 19 which was also a pretty big jump My handicap now is 8.3. Her goal is to gain a college scholarship in the U.S. following in her parents footsteps. Her parents were tennis professionals and met in college when they were on a tennis scholarship in Texas. The year ten student loves studying, in particular science and maths and is keen to get a college degree while developing her golf, to eventually become a pro. She finds it relaxing out on the course a nice environment and a good break from school work. Asking Felicity what tip she can give to junior girls she said, It’s great for young girls to take advice from the older, more experienced golfers. She certainly has found it in her mentor Sharon Thompson, her father, brothers and club members. Her athletic prowess isn t just a result of her natural talent and gene pool. She credits her rapid growth to the support she received from these more older and experienced golfers in particular the junior girls coordinator and Ladies Club Champion Sharon Thompson, who bent over backwards to nurture Felicity s talent. Sharon organised games for her, provided as many playing opportunities as she could, even relinquished playing herself to allow Felicity to participate in a group. This has enabled Felicity to play in both the Girls and the Mixed Encourage Shield, as well as to be involved in the Women’s Major Pennant. Because Felicity dropped so many shots, she won a Lesson Package with Ben Patterson, the Professional at Avondale Golf Club. As a result she can now get special training from Ben on some afternoons after school. It is only a matter of time before Felicity Wittenberg s name will be engraved on a Club Honour Board, alongside her father Corey and brothers Corey Jnr and Matthew Wittenberg s names.
Author: Golf NSW