Nich Bonville club champ
By GREG WHITE
WHEN Nich Rae claimed the club championship at Bonville International last week, mouths dropped open as he described his track record in the golf game.
Nich,19, only picked up a club for the first time five years ago.
A year was taken off to go surfing.
He's never had a coach and only five formal lessons.
"It isn't quite trial and error," Nich said.
"When I find something in my game is wrong I go back over everything that's happened.
"Once the problem is identified, I fix it."
In a four round season, Nick had the best gross score of a nett 306, six strokes clear of runner-up, Peter Owen.
Cruising through the first rounds with cards of 76, 76 and 71 nett, it almost came crashing down around his ears at the end.
"My putting was shocking," was Nich's straightforward remark.
Despite an ordinary 83, the chasers were too far in arrears to rob him of the title.
To show how erratic that final round had been, the best card on the day was a 67 nett.
"Without mum and dad I couldn't have done it," he said.
"They drive me to where I play, pay the green fees and keep up the encouragement."
Nich began tagging along with dad for a game and soon was beating him.
"He gave it away after that," he laughed.
Next year, he's off to Griffith studying a Bachelor of Business.
A major in sports marketing makes him a pro golfer on graduation.
"Touring on the circuit would be good," he said, "but it can be a tough way to earn a living."
Until then, it's work at Bonville and lots of golf.