KeNako welcomed several new students to the Academy, including our first international students (from Kenya and South Korea) and our youngest ever student, a boy going into Grade 7. January is acclimatisation month – personal adjustment to KeNako and a new set of friends; with assessments and scheduling being the order of the day. Within a week the students were well settled. From a golfing perspective, Garen Niemand started the year in good form and got into the playoff in the junior order of merit event held at George Golf Club.
Highlight of February was Daniel Abraham’s 68 at the junior order of merit played at Knysna Golf Club; unfortunately for the second month in a row the KeNako student lost in the play-off!
KeNako hosted a first for South Africa, the KeNako World Juniors played at Kingswood Golf Estate. Entries far exceeded expectations for year one, with players from 19 different countries represented at the event. The KeNako World Juniors received rave reviews by all the participants and their parents as well as coaches and management who travelled to South Africa for the event. The South African players too loved the event and the Golf Village created at the Protea King George Hotel. The KeNako World Juniors is an annual event that has set the bar for future events and KeNako looks forward to welcoming participants from more countries in 2012.
Garen Niemand continued with his good form at the junior order of merit event played at Mossel Bay Golf Club, but unfortunately for the third month in a row the KeNako student lost in the playoff!
It was good to have some of the KeNako students either playing national events or representing the Southern Cape in inter provincials. The first of KeNako’s yearly camps took place during the holidays and while the focus is golf, the youngsters get to participate in activities such as abseiling, canoeing, games on the beach, obstacle courses and even cooking – a lot of fun was had by all. The KeNako Holiday Camps are growing in stature and popularity.
Not much in the way of junior events but a few of the KeNako’s students were chosen to represent the Southern Cape in the annual triangular inter provincial played at Riversdale in the Western Cape – a 9 hole course which tests players’ shot making ability and accuracy.
A few of the students played in the SA Boys U16 championships at Somerset West Golf Club near Cape Town. Unfortunately they experienced the worst winter weather that the Cape can throw at one! The course was virtually under water and the officials did well to even get play underway.
Holiday time and another KeNako Holiday Camp enjoyed by all. These Camps are a stimulating experience both for the participants and the KeNako professional team!
The Compleat Golfer Magazine in conjunction with Faircape Travel organised a tour to George and KeNako hosted the group during their trip. Players and partners had the pleasure of enjoying the cuisine of KeNako’s resident chef Rob Douglas on Saturday evening and they also enjoyed a demonstration by some of KeNako’s professionals relating to the technical and physical perspectives of golf and the body. One player won a lucky draw to have a personal assessment done with Roger and Jan and he was used as the guinea pig in explaining how the physical and technical elements are interlinked to produce a consistent swing – quite an eye opener for all concerned.
A breakthrough for one of KeNako’s students was a major highlight of September. After losing in two playoffs Garen Niemand finally won his first junior order of merit title at Kingswood Golf Estate and then went on to win the Southern Cape Junior Matchplay championships a few weeks later. Great to see his confidence growing and Garen is destined to savour many more wins in the future.
Stress for the students as exams are around the corner and a few of them have to put a little more effort into the year-end exams. Golf is put on the back-burner for a while on Wednesday afternoons, much to the chagrin of some of the students! The awards evening was well supported by parents. Garen Niemand was deservedly named KeNako’s Golfer of the Year 2011 for his excellent performances on the golf course, his growing leadership skills and his good attitude.
A chapter in the life of one of KeNako’s students came to an end in November. Daniel Abraham wrote his final Grade 12 matric exam on the 23rd and left for his home in Mozambique a few days later. Daniel arrived at KeNako late-2009 with an enormous energy and commitment but had a lot to learn about the game. When he started he could hit the ball a mile but he had very little control and was shooting in the high 80’s. Two years later and he had some excellent results, including his playoff loss after shooting a 68 and a short while later a 67 when winning his match in the Southern Cape matchplay championships – remarkable progress. Daniel is on his way to the USA to further pursue his golfing dream. KeNako wishes him every success and urges him to chase his dream!
The year ends with the final Holiday Camp of 2011, from 11th to the 16th December. KeNako is looking forward to hosting the students coming down to George – many of them for the first time. They are playing golf at George Golf Club, Kingswood Golf Estate and Oubaai Golf Club – some of the finest courses in the country and will surely enjoy the activities included on the program.
It has been three years since KeNako Golf Academy opened its doors and it has been exciting to see how KeNako’s programs have positively impacted the lives of those students who have been fortunate enough to attend the academy program. KeNako looks forward to an exciting future with many new students enrolled for the 2012 intake. Roll on January 2012 when we can officially welcome all students old and new to our awesome facility!