Just three weeks ago Luke Hillyard had never hit a golf ball but after plenty of practice he’s ready to tee off at the Carinbundi Charity Golf Day.
The Carinbundi client was selected to be the ceremonial starter for the event to be held next Sunday, 6 October.
The now enthusiastic golfer has been receiving all abilities training from Bundaberg Golf Club’s PGA Golf Coach Mick Murnane.
“I just love it,” Luke said.
“I just love hitting golf balls. I just like to watch the ball when I hit it.”
He said he had been training hard ahead of the eFlux Carinbundi Charity Golf Day.
“I’m so excited that I get the chance to do it.
“I’m improving a lot.”
Luke shows natural skill for golf
Mick said it had been a pleasure training Luke who had shown some natural skill for the game.
“He’s come over here as keen as he can, as open as he can,” Mick said.
“He’s come from hitting his first shot – he probably had five air swings before he actually made contact.
“By the end of the first lesson he got a shot to go the best part of 100 metres.
“Lesson two he was up to about 120 m and lesson three we probably had about 40 shots, didn’t miss one of them.
“He’s a very fast learner… he’s a great listener.
“He is probably picking it up faster than even the general golfing population as well.
“I can see him sticking with golf for a fair bit.”
Mick said Luke would have another lesson before the big day and he thought Luke was ready.
“In one more lesson he’s going to be standing up in front of more than 100 people on the first tee and hitting a shot to start off their charity golf day.”
Mick only recently undertook his all abilities accreditation after it was opened up by the PGA.
He said that gave him the required knowledge to tailor his lessons appropriately to make them more accessible.
“We can get all sorts of golfers with disabilities and give them access to a game like they’ve never had before.”
All abilities classes available
Mick said he first realised the need for all abilities classes during primary school classes where he was meeting children with a range of abilities.
“I thought ‘I need to upgrade me’.
“As a part of that I branched out and I thought well there’s got to be more people in the community who aren’t playing golf that need to.”
The training is available for all golfers with disabilities and Mick said there were plenty of benefits to getting involved.
“Golf as a single player sport should have access to everyone and should be more inclusive.
“It’s all self-paced and everybody gets a handicap. Everybody has access to some sort of golf.
“We can make that golf as hard or as easy as we want.
“Golf teaches a lot of life skills.
“You do need that bit of discipline, you’ve got to have really good balance, it takes a certain amount of coordination as well.
“And it presents them with challenges.
“If they can overcome not being able to hit a golf ball – like Lukey was only three weeks ago.
“You can see him, he’s so proud of himself every time he hits a decent shot.
“He gets a big smile on his face and starts bouncing around a little bit.
“It’s really good to see that personal growth.”
There is already talk about Luke continuing his lessons beyond the Carinbundi Charity Golf Day and maybe even participating next year.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll be demanding it next time,” Mick laughed.
“He loves it so much.”
Luke said he’d love to stick with it.
“That’d be great I’d love to play a game of golf.”
Join the Carinbundi Charity Golf Day
There are still plenty of spaces left for anyone wanting to participate in the eFlux Carinbundi Charity Golf Day.
Held from 9am to 3pm on Sunday, 6 October it’s a 4-Person ambrose event open to men and women.
The day will feature a raft of prizes, raffles and food and drinks with all money raised going to the Carinbundi Foundation.
The Carinbundi Foundation also recently launched its Buy a Brick campaign.