Earlier this month, in our ongoing series of Wee Highlander 6- hole stroke play fun challenges for our 8 and unders, we witnessed a wonderfully entertaining contest between two young players who are learning their way in the game. Kenzi Kacanich aged 7 and Koen Huther aged 5. On that previous date we called that match a draw as it was impossible to find a winner even after a play off.
With the help of really supportive parents, grandparents and friends these matches are becoming hard to miss as they always promise to both entertain and make us smile us for so many reasons!
Both of these talented young kids are just beginning on a golf journey that we all hope means the game will always remain with them throughout their long and happy lives..perhaps one day they MAY become LPGA or PGA superstars of the future or they MAY just end up doing what most of us do and escape to the fairways when they can to relieve everyday stress with family or friends…whichever way things turn out in the future is irrelevant at this point as now is only about one thing, ensuring they build up enough confidence to get out there to compete and play, and that they have plenty of fun doing it!
We are happy to report that confidence is not lacking in either player! Both are already way ahead of the curve when you consider what we should be realistically expecting from golfing kids of their age(s) and the FUN factor is clearly in evidence too ..its written all over their faces as the gathered spectators cheer and applaud each drive, chip and putt.
Black Bear GC is tough and unforgiving…its tough on our older kids who played 18 earlier in the day and its just as tough for our Wee Highlanders playing from the shortened yardages we define for them. Remember too that we are asking them to play from the same greens as used in regular competition when you view the scores recorded and it may go some way to explain just how well both of these young players were yesterday!
A quick rules briefing (which mostly consists of ensuring each player has plenty of fun OR faces immediate disqualification, a rule we possibly have invented but wouldn’t it be great if the LPGA/PGA used it too?) and the players began play. As usual we had a larger group of followers behind Kenzi and Koen than any of our 18 hole competition groups out there in front of them yesterday, parents, grand parents and friends all followed the action.
We don’t want to ever make these reports overly “golf technical” as we are talking about such young players BUT it is worth pointing out a couple of things.
Both already have a strong all round game…Kenzi can drive a golf ball a significantly long way and usually its as straight as a rope, she’s athletic and graceful in the swing and she does enjoy a clear advantage in height over Koen however when it comes to working with the shorter clubs Koen really does bring his “A” game, his putting and chipping can be exceptional at times. Put them together and you start to understand how its always going to be a tough job to call who is going to take the Wee Highlander medal home with them.
Professional(?) caddie services were provided yesterday by Koen’s dad and Kenzi’s Grandfather. Thank you both for your efforts and we hope you were rewarded with the customary 10% of their earnings by your player?
In the early stages it remained close, Kenzi took an early one stroke lead after the first and Koen hit right back to square the match at 2. The third hole Kenzi shot 5, and Koen followed with a 5 of his own….was it possible that we could see a repeat of the Eagle Ridge contest where it was impossible to separate their scores even after 3 extra play off holes?
On 4 Kenzi recorded a 6 …and so did Koen!
On 5 Kenzi recorded a 6 …and so did Koen!
On 6 Kenzi recorded a 6 …and so did Koen !
Wow! It’s happening again! ….As you can no doubt imagine by this time the loyal followers were getting louder and the applause longer for the two kids that were just having fun and playing some golf together ! How we wish we could record these matches for more to see.
The play off hole, as you can already guess, gave us more of the same. Long straight drives, good chips and putts and a pair of 6’s! In the end it was decided by the organisers and our Wee Highlander referee and adjudicator (Mrs Fiona McColl) that under the circumstances we will call the match halved and both participants (just like last time around at Eagle Ridge) would share the medal honors..had we not done so I suspect darkness may have descended upon us all as we may well have been playing until late in the evening to try to seperate the scorecards of these two!
Remember what we said earlier about how tough Black Bear can be ? After 6 holes Kenzi and Koen were level on 38..both of you should be very, very proud of that !
Back at the clubhouse and medals were presented to both players. We may have to start ordering medals in larger quantities if this sort of golfing behaviour continues! Seriously though it was great to watch, the outcome was fair to both players and we offer our finest congratulations to Kenzi Kacanich and Koen Huther for your exceptional efforts and for entertaining us all in such a fine manner.
So that’s it from us for another great day with our Wee Highlanders. Thank you everyone who attended and we look forward to seeing you all again on the fairways with our young golfers really soon.
Next Wee Highlander event is Red Tail GC in Sorrento next week. If you can make it we’d love to see you there. Registratin is open and can be reached by clicking HERE.