A N.J. Interscholastic Athletic Association/N.J. Scholastic Coaches Association Golf Coaches Clinic, in conjunction with the New Jersey State Golf Association, took place on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Galloping Hill Golf Course.
It was the first such clinic for high school golf coaches in New Jersey in 10 years and 50 coaches, of both boy and girls’ teams, took part in a full day of golf activities.
Both the NJSGA and the New Jersey Section of the PGA provided a number of speakers and clinicians, and Mark McCabe of the First Tee of Raritan Valley was also on hand.
“We want to make this an annual event, knowing we have the support of the NJSGA and the NJPGA. Next year, we want to make more coaches aware of this event. We think it will grow over the years as girls’ golf grows in the state,” said Tony Palombo, of the NJSCA.
“Galloping Hill is a perfect location, situated on a major artery like the Garden State Parkway. The main intention is to ensure that the high school coaches know all of these golf organizations are offering their support and the opportunity to use their resources as a feeder for high school golf programs,” Palombo said.
The morning session took place in the ballroom at Galloping Hill and featured Bill Castner, winner of the 2015 national PGA Youth Player Development Award, Chris Hunt of the New Jersey Golf Foundation, which brings golf into 200 schools in the state, Greg Zohovetz of the NJPGA, who conducts the U.S. Kids Junior Tour in the state, and Pete Busch, Galloping Hill pro, who conducts an area PGA Junior League, and PGa pro Damien Hamlett of Galloping Hill.
Mike McAneny, NJSGA Director of Tournaments, and Brad Bardon, NJSGA Manager of Tournament Operations, provided a lengthy tutorial on golf etiquette and rules.
Following lunch, the participants broke into four groups for demonstration stations with on-course instructors at the Galloping Hill Learning Center. NJSGA Executive director Kevin Purcell conducted a clinic on rules; PGA pro Damien Hamlett of Galloping Hill advised on short game; Busch spoke on full swing, and Castner on putting.
Jeff Reilly, longtime golf coach at Southern Regional in Manahawkin, was happy to see a coaches clinic return.
“More than anything, I like it for the networking and connecting with other coaches. The session with drills has a lot of potential for coaches to pass on to their golfers,” Reilly said.
“I like getting ideas from other coaches and the speakers here,” said Steve Raff of Hillsborough High School. “It’s nice to know you can contact your local PGA pro and they’re more than willing to help.”