Claudia is on course
BIG-HITTING Claudia Hewett will test her promising skills at a higher level after securing a double golfing success.
The 14-year-old Lismore player captured both the cadet girls gross and nett sections at this year's Northern Rivers District Golf Association (NRDGA) Junior Order of Merit.
Consistent play allowed Claudia to take the overall competition, which saw players contest nine-hole events at 13 courses around the region.
Lismore Workers Golf Club professional Peter Jaeger, who has coached the Trinity Catholic College student for two years, said his charge would now progress to the 18-hole junior competition.
"When she is on and hitting the ball straight, she gets a lot of length," Jaeger said.
"That can be very intimidating for the other players.
"She is very raw as far as her golfing experience goes.
"For her to improve, the 18-hole competition is the next step up."
Claudia saw off a handful of other hopefuls to take both titles on this year's circuit.
Jaeger said Claudia, who plays off a nine-hole handicap of 14, could progress in the sport.
"If she wants to achieve the next level, that is up to her," he said.
"I will not push her.
She has a lot to learn but she is certainly striking the ball well.
It was a successful year for the city's players, with Jackson Magarry and Jack Harlen-Robertson also doing well.
Other winners included Coraki's Henry Pye and Murwillumbah quartet Ethan Mitchell, Sheridan Gorton, Bianca Higgins and Adam Aboud.
Jaeger said he was impressed with the standard of young golfers in Lismore, despite challenges facing the sport.
"The kids around here are quite good," he said.
"The strength here in Lismore is that they tend to feed off each other and want to improve.
"The big challenge is to keep them interested. That is something all sports face these days.
"A lot of the clubs in this area have a really good attitude towards the kids which encourages them to play. It's fantastic to see.
"Golf is a great game and I am sure any young players will love the sport."
For more information on the NRDGA junior programs, contact Gerard Wilkinson on 0419 708 676.