2014 Offers Exciting New Challenges as well as Greater Expectations!

The year 2014 has begun with great enthusiasm, optimism and excitement at KeNako Academy bringing with it new challenges and altered programs to invigorate students and coaches alike.

KeNako has had a change of personnel in the physical department and KeNako would like to thank Jan Fourie for his dedication, professionalism, patience, passion, enthusiasm and contribution to the development of a world class program at the Academy over the past few years. We wish you well Jan.

Taking over from Jan is Jan Harm Venter who brings a wealth of experience and the same passion and enthusiasm to the Academy.  Amazingly Jan-Harm was at the same University and at the same time as Jan!  The coaching staff would like to welcome Jan Harm and look forward to further developing the physical skills of all the students at KeNako.  The year 2014 has seen the number of full time students grow to 33 and on top of this KeNako welcomes 2 school leavers who both happen to hail from East London.  These truly are exciting times for KeNako Academy.

The students completed their technical, physical and mental assessments during the first week of the new term.  They then commenced their golfing and mental skills development programs together with their physical programs, which they are enjoying immensely.  Jan Harm and his team have initially focused attention on body weight exercises.  Added to their formal gym program is an expansion of the physical literacy program which is challenging and fun for the students and develops their athleticism in a controlled environment.

The coaches have been pleasantly surprised at how the various skill and fitness levels amongst returning students were maintained during the long December holiday break.  This is very encouraging as the students are developing constructive habits whilst at KeNako and this is confirmation that KeNako’s ‘Skills for Life’ philosophy is having a positive impact.

There have already been a number of noteworthy performances from KeNako students in recent weeks.  The first two Southern Cape Junior tournaments of the year were won by KeNako students; Franklin Manchest and Caylum Boon both shot 68 at George Golf Club and Franklin won the playoff; Alan Lones won the KeNako Junior Series event at Kingswood shooting a fine 70 on a golf course that was stretched to the tips.  On the professional front Heinrich Bruiners got his year off to a good start at the Jo’burg Open with a solid 8 under performance for 37th place.  He was happy with the result after a fairly long break over the festive season, although he worked hard on the range and in KeNako’s gym – watch Heinrich during the year for quite a few good performances.

Cameron Moralee, Jade Buitendag and Andre Nel played in the SA Strokeplay in Benoni recently.  Cameron and Andre shot 5 over par the first two days to miss the cut; Jade made the cut and played steady golf for the remainder of the tournament – valuable experience gained for this coastal boy.  Cameron, Alan Lones and Andre Nel are going down to Hermanus later this month to compete in the SA Matchplay and KeNako wishes them well.

Charnay Williams is beginning to fulfil her potential and had a very credible performance in the recent EP Ladies Championships; she finished 5th in the strokeplay and lost in the semi finals of the matchplay where she was 6 down after 6 holes but eventually lost on the last hole.  This is her best performance to date and one that will spur this talented young lady on to continue working hard at her game.  It is worth recalling that Charnay has only been playing golf for just over 2 years so her progress is outstanding!

2 of KeNako students came through the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) ranks and these 2 boys, Hayden  Garcia and Franklin Manchest, were recently chosen for the SAGDB team to play against The South African Golf Association’s Junior Team and a Scotland Team that comprised members of the Scottish Golf Union’s Men’s National Squad.  This tournament, played at Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg, has become an annual event.  Franklin Manchest provided the highlight of the day when the 15-year-old defeated Scotland’s number two ranked player, Bradley Neil.  Hayden too played some excellent golf and was 3 under when he lost to a player who fired 7 birdies and a hole in one – tough to beat that.  Well played Franklin and Hayden – you flew the KeNako flag proudly!

The fruits of the efforts of the KeNako Academy program will become evident in the following decade when some of our students will surely emerge as successful professional players.  The grounding that they are now receiving at KeNako – technically, mentally and physically – forms an outstanding foundation for their future careers in golf.  One only need listen to the comments made on the latest KeNako Academy video by some world-renowned golfing individuals to understand the quality of the KeNako Academy program.  KeNako looks forward to seeing even greater interest from South African based families in years to come.  Recent enquiries indicate that international interest is growing in the KeNako Academy offering.  The fact that KeNako’s sister organisation, Rundle College, is now an official Cambridge International School that offers the world respected Cambridge International Education (and at a very reasonable cost) adds value and a different dimension to the total KeNako Academy offering.

The year 2014 is certainly going to be a very exciting year in the continuing growth and development of KeNako Academy.

roger-wesselsRoger Wessels
Golf Director & Head Golf Professional