Success in Desert Springs

During half term the Golf Academy headed to the Almanzora in Spain to play in the 7th Desert Springs & Millfield European Schools Team Championships’.

The three-day (54Hole) tournament held over the Indiana course is always a great test for any golfer. Inspired by the famous desert courses of Arizona & California, the par 72 international championship Indiana course is the first desert course in Europe. Its immaculate fairways are set amongst massive rocky outcrops, arroyos and dry rivers. The vivid contrast of the 'desert springs' and the emerald green fairways with the arid landscape of cactus, rock and flowering desert, is stunning at all times of year.

As well as the outstanding course the resort also has a has some of the best training facilities in Europe with two large putting greens, a dedicated short-game area and a vast grass range.

Having won the event three times in the past a relatively young team travelled to compete against defending champions Gordons School, Millfield, Bradfield, Reeds and Whitgift. With the aim of the trip to provide further opportunities for all standards of players to represent the school whilst being able to develop their golf at a wonderful resort.

Travelling two days early for the competition allowed the players to plan and prepare for the event as if it was a major tournament. This added time enabled the coaching team to provide extra support in the principles of nutrition and hydration, psychology, pre-round preparation as well as a technical provision.

Feeling organised and prepared our four teams embarked on a great adventure. Round one saw four players play in two teams of two with the best stableford score taken for each hole for each pairing and then combined at the end. The conditions were perfect with sunshine and little wind. With smiles on their faces and a spring in their steps, putts poured in and shots found their targets. At the end of play our youngest team of Kyle, Gabriel, Bethwell and Leticia has played well and posted a score of -9 to finish in the top three at the end of play. This was closely followed by the Team of Fitz, Vittorio, Katherina and Alexandre who returned a decent score of -6.

Round two started with a cool wind and a sprinkle of rain. Not that the players where complaining as the weather was far better than at home. Inspired by their first round improved their score by 4 to return and impressive -13 and finish the day in third place with one round to play. Our other teams had faired better as well. Returning a score of -9 the team of Antonia, Lennart, Finn and Louis significantly improved recording one of the best scores of the day.

With a change of format for the final day we had two teams in with a chance of the title. Instead of fourball better ball, round three was the best individual score from two, combined to form a team score. This added a little pressure to each of the individuals.

The performances matched the sunshine with some great scores being posted across all four teams. For the boys Fitz posted an exciting score of +1 with 5 birdies and Louise a solid round of +2 to win the individual title for the Girls. In the team event the youngsters were awesome positing some excellent individual scores to finish a commendable second place to Whitgift School. Overall, it was an impressive week with plenty of memorable moments for all our golfers.

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