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The Whistle Bear Junior Performance Team has been working hard on their swings as well as their fitness. With the help of Whistle Bears Depth Training Center the team are working out to improve their strength and conditioning, ready for the 2017 Golf Season.
CAMBRIDGE -Mike Martz has dedicated much of his coaching career to junior golfers.
Even before joining The Golf Performance Centre at Whistle Bear in 2010 to help with one of the fastest growing junior teams in Canada, Martz ran several golf camps and, for almost 15 years, has worked with a Special Olympics golf program.
Add to that his regional head-coaching gig with the U17 Team Ontario squad and the fact that he is one of only about a dozen instructors certified as a Coach of New Competitors under Golf Canada’s new development program, it is no surprise that Martz was named Ontario PGA Junior Leader of the Year last week.
Winning the award also means that Martz is now in the running for the Canadian equivalent.
Part of Martz’s success with junior golfers is that he has adapted to the changes in coaching philosophies.
“There is a difference between a golf coach and golf instructor,” Martz said.
“It’s more than just teaching the different technical skills, striking balls and hitting decent golf shots. Now, we look at physical training, psychological training, nutrition, keeping a proper competitive schedule so that competitive players are competitive at the proper time.
“It used to be that you teach kids to hit the ball and see if they do well. That’s been proven not to work.”
Martz added that the new philosophy includes instructors that don’t tend to work in the pro shop, as most old-style golf coaches used to do. Having to work at the course left limited time for instruction.
“Coaching in the golf business is really in its infancy. I’d say that it’s come forth in the last five years,” he said.
“It’s really difficult to do when you work in pro shops. Starting a junior program sounds good when you go before the board to say you’re going to do this, then when you’ve already worked 80 hours a week you’re just tired. You have to be solely dedicated to servicing the clientele.”
Martz has used that time to spread himself around the area. Besides coaching 12 of the best under-17 golfers in the region, he has run a golf camp in Guelph that has brought out 75 to 100 kids. What he is most proud of is his work with Special Olympics.
He started the program for the physically and mentally challenged when he worked for courses owned by the City of Kitchener.
“I worked with people 15 to 60 years of age with different disabilities. They’re a neat bunch to work with,” he said.
Besides working with the grassroots players, Martz is also gearing up to become an elite-level instructor.
Since Golf Canada realigned its development ladder to coincide with Own the Podium program for the 2016 Olympics, Martz has started his rise.
He is currently certified as a Coach of New Competitors and has trained for the next step – Coach of Developing Competitors. The third stage is becoming a national-level coach – Martz said there is currently only three or four of them in Canada.
Martz said he’s done it not for himself, but to grow the sport.
“I made myself take every educational opportunity available to get to the highest level of certification that I can give back to the players and achieve the highest level that they want to.”
And Martz may be awarded at the highest level because of it.
It has been another busy week for the Whistle Bear Juniors. With tournaments spread all over Ontario and the United States. It was also a very exciting week as Whistle Bear hosted the Whistle Bear Junior Invitational presented by the Maple Leaf Junior Tour. The week was also caped off with the Canadian Open in Hamilton with Whistle Bears Touring professional Vic Ciesielski who qualified to play in the event.
Whistle Bear Junior Invitational
Maple Leaf Junior Tour
Had a great two days of weather to kick off a strong 90 player field in the second annual Junior Whistle Bear Invitational. But again this year The Maple Leaf Junior, a National Junior Tour was on hand to coordinate the event.
Girls Division Whistle Junior Team member Kirsten Diegutis finished second with rounds of 75-81 – 156. In the boys under 13 division top finisher was Max Redman with score of 83-83-166. Finishing in the top 10 Dylan Henderson, Noah Romeo, Eric Uba and Nathan Allensen. In the boys 14-16 junior team members finished 3rd, 4th and 8th with Trevor Ranton leading the way with scores of 72-76-148, followed by Jack Quirke 76-73-149 with Hayden Edworthy shooting scores of 77-78-155 for 8th place. Rounding out the top 10 was Mitchell Hardy with scores of 82-77-159. Boy 17-19 Whistle Junior Team members Ben Finlayson finished tied for 4th with scores of 76-73-149 followed by Colton Clemmer with a 75-77-152 for a 6th place finish. The tournament highlight was team member Webster Steele winning the golf town comeback award by reducing his second day score by 11 shot with a hard fought 81 on day 2.
Teen World Championship
Whistle Bear and our Junior Performance Team were strongly represented by Max Clift this past week in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Max shot consistent scores of 76-75-76 for a tie for 26th on a very difficult Pinehurst #8 golf course. The weather sweltering for the week didn’t detour Max from qualifying for the international team to play matches against the US Team on the historic Pinehurst Number 2.
Meijers Junior Tour Championship
Haley Barclay qualified for the Meijers Junior Championship in Michigan with previous tournament finished of 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The 11 year old playing in the 13/14 age group had scored rounds of 84-83 for 167 and a 4th place finish.
PGA Junior Series at Penn State
Whistle Bear Junior team stand out Keaton Jones travelled to State College Park, Pennsylvania, last week to defend his PGA series title from 2011. Unfortunately, Keaton tired from his extensive summer schedule could not muster the same spectacular play as the previous year. Keaton fired scores of 79-75-76-230 for a tie for 25th.
2012 Eruo Junior Golf Cup
Whistle Bear Junior Team Member Scott Herod returned home from Fife, Scotland on the victorious Canadian Team. Canada finished the three day matches with a winning total of 55.5 points over team Scotland 36.5 and team USA with 34 points. Former team member Parker Lobban was also part of the Canadian Team.
In the recent CJGA Junior Linksters Series at Scenic Woods Golf club the Junior Performance Team was represented by Conner Rossdeutscher and Hunter Baird. Playing in the boys 9-10 Hunter finished 16th with a score of 91. Boys 11-13 Connor finished 8th with a score of 95.
Ian Leggatt Tour
Last week saw the Ian Leggatt Tour make stops at Guelph Country Club and the Galt Country Club. At Guelph we had another strong showing by our Whistle Bear Performance Members with Jenna Banz collecting her second win of the season with a score of 85 followed closely by Elana Lachaine-DeMarchi finishing 3rd with a score of 88 and Kelsey Studiman in 4th with a score of 90.
In the boys division Matt Chaisson continued where he left off in the previous season shooting 72 for the victory. Other team members finishing in the top 10 were Brett Kudoba with 75/2nd, Benden Hendricks 77/ 7th, Josh Thorne 79/9th, Colton Dorian 82/T10.
At Galt Country Club in the girls division we had finishes of 1st, 3rd, T 4th, and T 4th. Lead by Ellana Lachaine-DeMarchi, claiming the victory with a 87. Alex Garcia 93, Jenna Banz 95 and Kelsey Studiman 95.
The boys division Matt Chaisson made it 2 in a row shooting a solid 72 at the Galt Country Club. He leads a group of Whistle Bear Junior Members who also finished in the top 10. They include Jack Quirke 77/T6, Haydon Edworthy 77/T6, Brenden Henriques 78/8th and Alex McKay 79/T9.
Whistle Bear Junior Club Championship
This past weekend it was time to challenge the Whistle Bear Juniors on their own course for the annual Whistle Bear Junior Club Championship. The Whistle Bear juniors threw down some spectacular scores
1st Kirsten Degutis 74-72-146
2nd Brooke Sharpe 81-84-165
3rd Carly Shane 80-90-179
1st MacKenzie Raines 74-72-146
2nd Jordy Denomme 76-78-154
3rd Max Redman 76-83-159
1st Trevor Ranton 68-70-138
2nd Colton Clemmer 70-70-140
3rd Andrew Cox 72-77-149
Optimist International junior Championship
At last week International Optimist Championship held at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Whistle Bear member MacKenzie Raines, who trains out of the Golf Performance Center with PGA of Canada Professional Dave Smallwood, finished T30th .Mac fired rounds of 78-74-80 to finish 11 shots back of the winner. The tournament that attracts some of the best juniors from countries across the globe is held annually in Florida.. Countries represented are USA, China, Thailand, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, France and Venezuela to name a few.
Golf Performance Center @ Whistle Bear GC, Director of Instruction Dave Smallwood had the great opportunity to accompany Professional Vic Ciesielski to the Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf Club. Vic successfully qualified on Monday at Heron Point Golf Club by shooting a 69 Making him eligible for Canada’s PGA Tour Event. Vic who unfortunately got the bad side of the draw was 3 over during two holes of torrential rain on day one to finish with a disappointing 74. In typical Ciesielski fashion Vic never gave up and ground out a hard fought 4 under par 66 on day 2 Leaving Vic one agonizing stroke of making the cut of 139.
Ontario / Quebec Team Matches
Whistle Bear Junior Performance Team Coach Mike Skimson is proud to announce that team member Trevor Ranton has been selected to represent Ontario in the upcoming Ontario/ Quebec Team Matches. Trevor was selected to be one of the 4 juvenile age boys to compete on the team of 12 boys and 12 girls. Ranton’s selection to the team, that will travel to Quebec later this summer, was based on his Ontario order of merit points from his fine play in the Ontario Spring Classic and the Ontario Junior Championships.
Toronto Star Amateur
At this week’s Toronto Star Amateur held at Islington CC and Burlington CC Whistle Bear and the Golf Performance Center had 4 players representing them. The top finisher was Alex Carrigan who was leading going into the final round only to shoot a disappointing 75 after previous scores of 73, 71 and 68 to finish in a tie for 8th . Simon McInnis, who trains with Smallwood at the GPC, finished 28th with scores of 72, 78, 71, and 80. Narrowly missing the cut was Whistle Bears Junior Performance Team Member Matt Chiasson and Whistle Bear Member Josh Bamberger.
Next Week’s Events
*Canadian Junior Championship
*Ontario Bantam Championship
*Maple Leaf Junior Tour
*Ian Leggatt Junior Tour