As our full time students are slowly starting to make their way home for the summer and our summer campers are beginning to trickle in, its time we recapped the amazing things that have happened at the academy, for the 2017-2018 full time school year.
In August, we had the pleasure of welcoming several new students, as well as some familiar faces. This year’s group of student quickly became close knit, and looked to each other to provide the temporary family atmosphere that they had all left behind. The students were assigned to their coaches to begin more of a personal one on one training experience, and were given their initial fitness tests to determine which areas needed improvement.
In early September, our students had the opportunity to meet our Sports Psychologist Consultant, Dr. Tiffany Jones for the first time. By creating a relationship with Dr. Jones at the beginning of their time at the academy, it allowed the students to know that they had someone that they could talk to throughout this entire experience. The students also participated in their first tournament of the year, the HJGT Myrtle Beach Jr Open. At the tournament, we had students place first in the boys 12-15 division and the girls 14-18 division, and place third in the boys 14 -15 division and boys 11-13 division.
As the year progressed, so did our students’ tournament schedule. In October, our students attended the HJGT Hilton Head Shootout, where we brought home first place trophies for the boys 11-13 division, boys 14-15 division, and the boys 15-18 division. Our students also attended their first international tournament of the year, the Global Junior Golf Evolve Spanish Junior Championship in Tarragona, Spain. This was one of the first hardships that our students faced. The competition in Spain was more difficult than they were expecting, which caused our students to have to push through and buckle down. After returning home from Spain, unsatisfied with their results, our students began to take their golf game and the steps it would take to succeed, more seriously.
In November, the academy added a new coach to our staff, switching up the current dynamic a little and provided our students with more one-on -one opportunities. Following the changes, our participated in two local tournaments, the HJGT Military Appreciation Tournament and the George Holliday Junior Golf Tournament. Our students took home 1st place titles in all age divisions for the Military Appreciation tournament and 1st in women’s division for the George Holliday Junior Golf Tournament. Many of our students also celebrated their very first american thanksgiving, complete with a turkey and all the fixings, thanks to one of our amazing house parents.
December was a busy month at the academy, filled with preparation for the Greg Norman Academy Junior Invitational. The academy invited approximately seventy junior golfers from all over the world to compete in the three day event. The tournament was played on the Norman Course at Barefoot Resort, which is one of the luxury courses that our full time student have access to throughout the year. After a successful tournament, our students all returned home to spend the holidays with their families for an extended winter break.
Our full time students returned to the academy in the middle of January and got right back to business with the HJGT Pinehurst Junior Shootout. Although our full time students had almost a month off, they came back ready to perform and brought home a first place finish in the boys 16-18 division, a secon place finish in the boys 14-15 division, and a first place finish in the girls 14-18 division.
In February, our students students travelled to Merida, Mexico for their second international tournament of the year, the XI Copa Yucatan. International tournaments typically have tougher competition and require out students to really put their all into their rounds. We were so proud of our students for all of their hard work and persistence, and managed to bring home a fourth place trophy in the women’s division. Following the Merida tournament, our students participated in the HJGT Ballantyne Junior Open where they brought home first place in the boys 14-15 division and first, second, and third place in the girls 14-18 division.
The academy opened its doors in March, to approximately thirty students and their families for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship. Like the GNAJI tournament hosted by the academy in December, the tournament took place on the Norman Course at Barefoot Resort. Our students placed second and third in the boys 16-18 division, making us proud on their home course. Like most months, the fun doesn’t stop there. Our student participated in the HJGT Hilton Head Junior Shootout where they brought home first and second place in the girls 14-18 division, third in the boys 14-15 division and the boys 16-18 division.
We started off the month of April in Bogota, Colombia for the 28th Campeonato Internacional Juvenil e Infatil, where our student faced some pretty tough competition. However, the competition helped prepare them for HJGT Canongate Series #3, where our students brought home second place in the boys 14-15 division.
After a school year of intense training and competition, the tournaments in May were an opportunity for students to show how much they have improved. Our students took on the LXVIII Campeonato Nacional Infantil Juvenil: XXII Edicion Internacional in Cancun, Mexico and the Global Junior Golf RB German Tournament in Weisbaden, Germany, where they represented the academy in the final two international tournaments of the year.Our students ended the year with a strong finish at the HJGT 54 Hole Challenge in Thomasville, NC. We had students bring home first and tied second place wins in the boys 16-18 division, second place win in the boys 14-15 division, second place win in the boys 11-13 division, and second place win in the girls 14-18 division.
We are so proud of our students and all that they have accomplished this year. It has been such a pleasure for the coaches and staff to work with each and every student and grow relationships with them. We take so much pride in their growth over the year and their individual successes. They will all be missed greatly! In the meantime, we are so excited to begin summer camp and help so many students expand their skill and love for golf.