Maynooth University Team at The Academy
Maynooth University Team at The Academy
By Mary Doyle
March 16, 2019
How do Maynooth scholars train?
The Maynooth University golf teams are just some of the squads that make good use of the facilities at the Academy. This group is a little close to my heart since I’m still a member of the Paddy Harrington scholarship, so I might be a little biased in this piece!
Maynooth University currently has two different panels within their golf programme; the scholarship panel and the observation panel. At present there are four women and 6 men on the scholarship panel, and the observation panel is made up of 5 men. Every Friday morning the scholarship squad has team training sessions at the Academy from 8am-10am, followed by a series of lessons with either Donal Scott, Johnny Foster or Noel Fox. The Observation panel will then train in the afternoon with the Academy’s head coach, Kenny Fahey.
Each training session brings a specific challenge set out by one of our coaches. All of our challenges are encouraged to be competitive and mimic an on course scenario. We decide as group what the winner will receive and also what forfeit the loser will have to perform. Usually the winner will take home the pot, created by a €2 entry fee from each player in order to keep the competitive spirit alive; although, that never seems to be a problem since those sessions can get pretty intense. The overall loser is forced to do a forfeit, some of which include; raking every bunker in the academy, making a two-minute speech in front of the team about a random topic or running a lap around the perimeter of the academy. So we really don’t like losing…
The skills tests vary between, putting, short-game and long-game. Donal looks after us on the greens and an example of a skills test he likes to set us is called ‘the gate drill’. Not a very inventive name, but it’s a demanding challenge if you’re struggling with start direction using your flat stick. A basic version of this skill-test would be; find a flat 8-foot putt, puncture a small hole in the green where you can place your ball on (this is where you will take each putt from), then grab two tees and make a gate roughly two feet on from you’re starting point, make this gate a little wider than your golf ball. The goal is to be able to get the ball through the gate and into the hole without knocking the gates. If you can do this, it should make holing out a lot easier during you rounds.
Johnny and Noel set out different challenges within their area of the game so we can practice competitively, and find out what our weaknesses and strengths are. Johnny is our short-game coach, and tends to focus on the basics. His main goal is to help every player figure out where we should land it for each type of shot and then giving us the skills and knowledge to do that. Noel is our long-game coach, and he tends to use different games and skills test on Trackman, in order to gives us immediate feedback on each shot. These tests include a wedge game or the likes of a combine test, which set us the challenge of hitting a series of shots a long a target line to different, random distances.
All of this takes place right here at The GUI National Golf Academy!
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About The Academy
Offering golf lessons, golf clinics, junior golf classes and a full custom fitting service, the GUI National Golf Academy and Driving Range has something for everyone. A team of professionals are waiting to deliver the best golf lessons available while state of the art technology is available with TrackMan 4 available for golf lessons and custom fitting.
Our full day and two-hour clinics are very popular with those looking for a general overhaul of their game, or for those that want to focus in on a certain aspect.
The driving range, all 22 acres of it – includes five USGA specification greens and four grass tee boxes, reserved for those having private golf lessons with one of our staff.