Date: August 01, 2017
Author: Golf Australia

Houston, we don’t have a problem

As the saying goes: from little things, big things grow.

A small mid-summer Texas gathering in 2011 has morphed into a fully fledged national camp in 2017.

And, as Golf Australia high performance director Brad James enthuses, it’s become a central point for not only amateurs, but a growing group of professionals as all refresh and recalibrate for the second half of the northern summer.

The 2017 GA national camp took place from 19-27 July at the superb TPC of Woodlands facility in suburban Houston.

“This is the seventh year of the camp and again it provided our Australian athletes – both professional and amateur – a platform to not only check in with their coaching team, but also to refresh and reconnect with other Australian athletes,’ James said.

“I think we sometimes forget most of the athletes are teenagers and they want to enjoy life off the golf course as much as they do when they’re on it.

“The camp provides an elite training venue for the athletes to prepare and refresh for their upcoming tournaments, but also evening social activities around Top Golf, shopping, seeing baseball games and general socialising with friends the athletes haven’t seen for a while.”

But, naturally, it’s not all fun and games.

A total of 28 athletes and 10 coaches and service team members attended the camp, which featured four mandatory requirements:

  • Be on time and prepared for your sessions
  • Attend 7am physical preparation drills
  • Complete a research questionnaire
  • Attend evening recovery sessions in the pool

James said the camp’s critical athlete development component began each day at 7am with physical preparation techniques.

“After that, the athletes could schedule their day based on their own development needs and priorities,” he said.

“The camp had stations including strength and conditioning, general coaching, short game, statistical analysis, putting, 3D analysis, trackman, physiotherapy, playing the resort’s six golf courses and research questionnaires.

“The camp times were broken into two blocks from 8am to 1pm and then again from 3-6pm because the heat and humidity were extreme in the early afternoon.

“During these breaks, the coaching staff would catch up and learn from each other and spend time catching up with the athletes about schedules, life on tour and talk about being away from home.

“In the evening the recovery sessions involved hot/cold pool and ice bath sessions, but I think the highlights of the recovery sessions were the `classic catches’ competition with the footy. “

James said the camp was viewed by all athletes as a resounding success as they set out again back into their tour and tournament schedules.

“The athletes were thrilled to spend some time with fellow Aussies and just chill for a minute while still working hard on their game.

“You can be away from your service providers for a long time on the road overseas, so it was great to see everyone just ensure they were on the same page so they can get the most out of what lies ahead for them all.

“We’re very excited collectively to have professionals such as world No.17 Minjee Lee not only come in and partake in the camp, but also provide a sounding board for the young guys and girls who aspire to be in her position soon.

“It’s become a little piece of Australia right where and when it’s needed most.”

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