The New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association/New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association annual golf coaches’ clinic returned for the second straight year to the Galloping Hill Golf Course on Nov. 13.
The event is conducted in conjunction with the New Jersey State Golf Association and the New Jersey section of the PGA.
In 2016, the golf coaches’ clinic was restarted after a 10-year hiatus and about 50 coaches were on hand this year as well. The coaches, of both boys’ and girls’ teams, took part in a full day of activities.
The NJSGA and the NJPGA each provided a number of speakers and clinicians, and Mark McCabe of the First Tee of Raritan Valley was also on hand.
“We have a comparable turnout to the previous year. 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. It’s also great because it offers the meeting room, the learning center and a place to conduct outside activities.”
“This is a good day for high school coaches to develop skills they can use to help the golfers in their programs. 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 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, as well as 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 relocated to Galloping Hill’s Learning Center for a coaching demonstration by Hamlett.
“The day helped coaches identify resources available for developing youth programs leading up to the high school level of golf. These programs, such as the First Tee and PGA Junior League, are not only for learning about golf, but for learning how to get young players accustomed to being competitive, which they will need once they reach the high school ranks,” Palombo said.