Thalia caps fun year with award
GOLF isn’t really that hard, so long as you’re having fun.
There are many weekend hackers who would disagree, but for 13-year-old Thalia Condon, an eight-stroke reduction in her handicap in 2010 is proof.
Thalia has taken her Sandy Gallop club by storm this year, taking out awards for junior masters champion, ladies division B club champion, junior division nett club champion, mixed foursome nett winner (with her uncle Warren Austin), ladies matchplay runner-up and the club’s encouragement award for the greatest handicap reduction in 2010.
The Brassall teen admits surprise at the booty she has collected from her golfing exploits.
“Heaps more than last year,” she said proudly.
Among her achievements is her number one goal at the start of the year – to get her handicap below 20.
It has dropped from 27 to 19 in the past 12 months.
“Probably hard work and training a lot,” she offers as an explanation.
That includes nine holes every Tuesday, regular trips to the driving range, lessons from coach Lee Harrington and, of course, playing at the weekend.
The Ipswich State High School student is driven by the desire to make a career out of the sport she loves.
In the shorter term, her goal is to get her handicap down to “16 or 15 by the end of next year”.
To get there, Tahlia will keep working hard, with particular focus on “getting my swing all correct and my short game,” she said.
She is not all ruthless goals, however, with Tahlia enjoying the social and scenic sides of the sport as well.
“I like to give myself challenges and see all different courses,” she said.
“The best part is meeting new people and getting my handicap lower.”
Tahlia describes her parents Sonia and James, along with uncles Nev and Warren, as her biggest influences.
Nev, a trainee pro at Oxley Golf Range, and Karrie Webb are her golfing heroes.
It was uncle Warren who can take claim for getting her into the sport, however.
“When I was two, uncle Warren gave me my first small club,” Tahlia said.
“Then when I was 10, I started getting lessons at the Ipswich Driving Range.”
Tahlia rates her temperament as her biggest asset.
“I don’t get angry,” she said.
So when a shot goes astray, don’t expect to hear her cursing or throwing clubs.
“I get over it and try to play the shot,” she said.