John Hickey practises his drive on the 10th at Yamba golf course.
John Hickey practises his drive on the 10th at Yamba golf course.

Golf day wins converts at Ngaru

TOM Smith, 17, reckons he may join up as a junior member of the Yamba Golf Club after spending a hot two hours whipping around the course yesterday.

“I’ve got my own clubs and I sometimes get on the course to have a swing but I’ll sign up if I can,” Tom said.

Tom joined 15 others for the indigenous youth golf day to learn the rules of the game, golf etiquette and pick up a few golfing tips from the club’s general manager Greg Acret.

“There were some beautiful swings going on out there, better than mine,” Mr Acret said.

He said that after a few techniques were shared, the boys started hitting some good shots and their confidence went up.

While improving style was one aim of the program, a major part was to give the boys from Ngaru village, who ranged from nine to 17 years of age, a tour of the course that is their next-door neighbourhood.

“It’s giving them something to do on a Sunday and teach them about the dangers of being on a golf course when they’re not supposed to be there,” Gurehlgam case worker and Magpies Rugby League Club coach Ricky Binge said.

He teamed up with Clarence Aboriginal liaison officers Gary Brown and John Skinner, and Mr Acret, to organise the tuition.

They hope two or three of the boys will sign up for the junior competition and the free professional coaching on a Tuesday afternoon.

Clearly a golfing enthusiast, John Hickey, 10, has just been given a new set of clubs by his mum and dad.

“You’ll always see him with a golf club hitting balls around the place,” said his cousin, Blake Ferguson, from Coffs Harbour.

John’s brother, Andrew, 9, was also given a set of clubs, following in his brother’s footsteps.



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