This summer I was lucky enough to join a young group of developing golfers from the UAE on a summer training camp to Carton House & the K Club in my homeland, Ireland. Over 30 students travelled with a mixture of all ages attending to spend 10 days working on all aspects of their game.
For the most part I was based at Carton House with 15 of the boys from the UAE. As many of you may be aware Carton House is the home of the Golfing Union of Ireland and their National Academy which both the national team and provincial players often use to practice. Alongside that Carton House also has two stunning golf courses (Montgomerie & O’meara) as well as a beautiful hotel with a world class High Performance Gym. As you can imagine it is just about the perfect venue for this type of Camp.
The camp was designed to be an intensive ten day experience for the team to assess and improve their game. Each day we set about looking at each players game individually, assessing their skills both on the course and the practice area, followed by working on the techniques and skills which they need to improve in order to further progress their game. With a total of 6 coaches across two venues, it gave us a great opportunity to spend time with each person, look at them individually and find out where they want to go and what they need to do in order to get there.
While technique was a part of the camp, the on course training on two very different golf courses (Montgomerie being a links style with O’Meara being a parkland) proved to be eye opening for both coaches and players alike. Seeing the students play courses and conditions that they are far from used to highlighted the areas and shots which each player needed to develop. Wind, rain, different greens and huge bunkers are all challenges which players needed to cope with and learn how to play in throughout the week.
Obviously the physical aspects of golf are equally demanding, and players must be “golf fit” not only to play at a higher standard, but also to reduce the risk of any injury. In addition to the technical aspects of golf we also introduced physical elements to the training camp with Fitness Trainer Fiona Staunton. Fiona put them through their paces at the IRFU’s High Performance gym.
Overall it was a hugely enjoyable trip to be a part of. To see how keen the team was to learn and improve, alongside how hard they worked through the course of the the 10 day camp showed huge promise for country’s development going forward. The team as a whole are a credit to the Emirates Golf Federation and I am extremely excited to see where they go in the future, Watch this space!