Huge improvement part of his growth
GOLF: Gladstone teenager Declan Corke hopes to use his Rockhampton Junior Open winning momentum this Sunday.
The 13-year-old said his dramatic drop in handicap since June was attributed to a number of things.
"I'm physically stronger and am hitting the ball further, which gives me the opportunity to score better," Declan said.
Under the professional guidance of coach Ben Fletcher from the Boyne Island-Tannum Sands Golf Club, Declan's handicap has almost halved.
"My handicap has gone from 12.9 back in June to 4 now," Declan said.
"I reckon that's because of course management and because I had played well across multiple courses and adapt to the different conditions."
Declan said Fletcher had been getting him to focus on his technique as well as work on his weaknesses to become strengths.
Declan won the Rocky Open after he carded a superb 76 and he said he had his sights set on a prestigious event in September.
The win in Rocky was also his first-ever victory on the Central Queensland Junior Golf Open circuit.
"It's the Gary Player Classic and it's at the Pacific Golf Club from September 24-27," Declan said.
To make the cut is the aim and there will be a lot of quality young golfers at the Pacific Golf Club course.
The top 30 per cent of players from the first three days, make the final cut to play on the fourth and final day.
In the longer term Declan hopes to crack into the professional circuit.
"I'm hoping to get into college golf in the US and hope to get a scholarship by getting my ranking up as high as possible," he said.
Declan's father Derran has also been a mentor and a soundboard for advice.
"My role as a parent is to assist with practice, travel and to co-ordinate with Declan a schedule of events that he will play," Derran said.
Derran said his son was as motivated as ever to get the best out of himself.
"The results are a testament to Declan's hard work and tenacity to continue to improve and to develop his skills and to learn from his coach," he said.
Derran said Fletcher had played a huge role in Declan's development over the past few years.
"Ben's role over the past 3.5 years has been to assist with the development of a player that has grown from a child to a teenager, assist with technical parts of the game and to provide advice and support when required," Derran said.
"Declan continues to have a passion for the game and wants to improve and hopefully one day will become a professional golfer."
The Gary Player Classic is an important part of the Australian junior golfing calendar since 1972.