Shire school’s great golfing endeavour

It may only be a year old, but Endeavour Sports High School’s golfing program is already turning heads. Glenn Cullen reports.

Image: Bruce Hopkins (left) with members of Endeavour Sports High School's 2023 golf program.

With multiple courses on its doorstep and a reputation for developing some of the finest athletes south of Captain Cook Bridge, it should come as little surprise that Endeavour Sports High School is gaining a reputation as the No.1 school for golfers in the country.

But it took more than just a few low markers in its ranks to make it so.

With two of the country’s top young players, Jeffrey Guan and Charlotte Perkins, graduating in 2022, Endeavour Sports High School High Performance Manager Bruce Hopkins felt the time was right to go a little deeper.

“I said to the boss (principal James Kozlowski), these are really quality kids and the type that we want: can we look at starting a golf program?”

The answer was a resounding yes.

With his industry and local connections, Mr Hopkins got support from the Jack Newton Foundation and quickly teed up Cronulla Golf Course as a base.

But just because he built it, there was no guarantee they would come.

“We thought in 2023 we might have two or three golfers here,” he said.

“We actually had 13, including arguably four of the best young women golfers in the country all in the one place.”

Image: Ann Jang was the 2023 Australian Amateur Junior Champion.

The golf program includes coaching sessions on Tuesdays, competition on Thursdays and strength and conditioning work throughout the week. It all dovetails into the students’ private golfing commitments, with the school providing a flexible learning environment so they can balance their studies and sport.

And while the group may have been put together quickly, they have just as readily logged some marquee results.

Rachel Lee (Year 11) made national headlines in December when she led allcomers at the Australian Open after a blistering first-round 67 while Ann Jang (Year 11) took out the Australian Junior Amateur Championship.

“One of the big reasons the program is so good, is that we train in the gym at the school and they help us develop our physical and mental health,” Ann said.

“It makes us develop better as sportspeople.”

Ann and Rachel are already looking over their shoulders at the incredible Camilla Kim, who is only going into Year 8 this year but is playing off scratch.

In a well-rounded program that caters for elite, emerging and developing golfers there’s also a boys’ group and one for students with disability.

“What the school offers is the support the students need – they get time off when they need it and help with their assignments and managing workloads,” Mr Hopkins said.

“There’s also that sense of comradery and they go to events and support each other. It’s a real club.”

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