DURING the Christmas school holidays Coffs Harbour golfer Emma de Groot spent the majority of sunlight hours slugging away on the golf course.
The 16-year-old spent between eight and nine hours a day refining her swing under the guidance of the club's teaching professional Peter Pearce and is now reaping the rewards.
At the weekend's Bonville International Golf Resort's 2005 QantasLink ladies amateur classic, Emma won the junior division and finished third overall, four strokes behind winner Leah Anderson.
However, she wasn't too happy with her performance.
"I was happy to finish third (overall), but if I played to my handicap I would have won," she said.
"It would have been a good tournament to win because it is well publicised so (winning) would have got my name out there."
Since she began working on changing her swing in December, Emma's handicap has plummeted from eight to five.
"When you see your handicap go down it really motivates you to keep going," she said.
Results have also come for Emma in the form of tournament victories, including the prestigious Jack Newton junior golf foundation tournament in Wollongong recently.
Anderson became just the third dual-winner of the QantasLink classic, joining Suzie Fisher and Anna Booth as the only women to get their name on the trophy twice.
The Tuggerah Lakes player was forced to work hard for the win after joint first round leader Jacqui Morgan came out firing on day two to open up a three-stroke lead after five holes.
Anderson gradually pegged back Morgan, taking the lead on the 15th to eventually win by one shot after firing a combined score of 163.
Bonville golfer Janette Curan was a runaway winner in division two, by a whopping 12 shots, with fellow Bonville players Kristy Hickey and Jennifer West finishing equal second.