Kew Country Club receives funding to build interactive Youth Golf Academy

INVESTMENT: Golfers at Kew Country Club will soon be able to train in a state of the art facility at the club. PHOTO: Laura Telford.
INVESTMENT: Golfers at Kew Country Club will soon be able to train in a state of the art facility at the club. PHOTO: Laura Telford.

A state of the art junior golf facility will be built at Kew Country Club and is hoped to continue to foster the talents of local, rising stars.

The project will deliver infrastructure to Kew Country Club to provide an interactive Youth Golf Academy building on their already successful North Coast Junior Masters competition.

The $126,000 project was announcement on February 28 with funds coming from the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund and the Kew Country Club.

Kew Country Club general manager Rob Dwyer said it was a very exciting day for the community of Kew and the whole of the Camden Haven.

"We are so excited to have received this grant to build the facility," Mr Dwyer said.

"For us it has been an idea we have been floating around for over five years but has been a bigger priority in the last few years to really support our juniors.

"The funding will allow us to build a fully-accessible indoor simulated 18-hole driving range and a covered driving range with perimeter fence and safety nets.

"Along with the invaluable experience for our junious, the simulation room will allow any golfer, of any ability, to access any golf course around the world to practice on and hone their skills before taking it to the driving range right next door."

Mr Dwyer said the development application will be lodged in the coming weeks and it is hoped the facility will be opened in early 2021.

FUN: Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams getting some tips from junior golfers Colby Wilkinson and Flether Murray. PHOTO: Laura Telford.

FUN: Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams getting some tips from junior golfers Colby Wilkinson and Flether Murray. PHOTO: Laura Telford.

Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said it would be a wonderful addition for the community.

She announced just over $98,000 from the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund to establish the Mid North Coast Regional Junior Golf Training Range.

"The Kew Country Club have identified the importance of providing a further training facility to young members and disabled community of the club and region," Mrs Williams said.

"There was a focus on youth for this round of funding and our juniors will now have the opportunity to train in a state of the art facility."

It is expected the state of the art facility will have a number of television screens and technology for golfers to see how and where their ball would go if the simulation was real.

Howard Burrows, junior golf coordinator at Kew Country Club and junior development officer for the Lower Mid North Coast Golf Association said the up and coming juniors already training at Kew Country Club will be in the best position to hone their skills without needing to travel to Newcastle to Bonville for a similar experience.

"This facility will mean that our juniors will be able to try their skills on many different courses but also allows members of the public to explore their skills right here in Kew," Mr Burrows said.

"Our junior program is one of eight, at the 11 clubs around the area I oversee, that host junior clinics after school and on weekend for students.

"For a junior the progression in the sport starts with clinics, before obtaining a Golf Australia handicap which allows juniors to play in club tournaments. From there they play in the Jack Newman Junior Golf Foundation Junior Masters Series - which one of the nine events is hosted at Kew - before they head to train at an academy or play in a state team.

"We have juniors at Kew who are already playing at that higher level and this facility will be an extraordinary help as they progress."

Two rising stars in the junior golf world are Colby Wilkinson and Fletcher Murray who both attend Camden Haven High School and said it was a great day for local golf.

"When I found out I was shocked that something so big could come to little Kew," Fletcher said.

"You would expect something like this to be in a bigger city or even in Port Macquarie but for it to be at Kew it is very exciting.

"It will really allow us to improve our game even further and compete at a higher level."

Colby said the facility would help up and coming golfers improve their skills even quicker than before.

"We train five or six days a week and to have something like this we can use to practice will be really amazing," Colby said.

"It will make us even better and those coming after us."