British Minigolf Association

GB Minigolf Sport Team head to Austria for Minigolf Training PDF Print E-mail
  

Six members of the Great Britain Minigolf Sport Team will be travelling to Vienna, Austria on the 19th March until the 22nd March to take part in a four-day minigolf training and coaching exercise with the Austrian National Team. The visit is part of a new World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) approach to training players in developing minigolf nations.

The WMF have granted Great Britain and Austria funding in order to assist with costs incurred to train overseas and while in Austria the players will be able to practice on different playing systems, find out more coaching, nutrition, ball preparation and much more.

Later in the year players from Austria will visit the UK in order to further develop their skills on Minigolf Open Standard (MOS) courses and meet with other members of the Great Britain team and the British Minigolf Association. Austria are currently ranked 4th in the world while Great Britain are ranked 20th.

There are four minigolf systems recognised by the WMF; Concrete (Beton), Miniaturegolf (Eternit), Feltgolf (Swedish Felt) and Minigolf Open Standard (MOS). While in Vienna the training will focus on Feltgolf, which along with Miniaturegolf, will be one of the playing systems in use at the WMF World Minigolf Championships in August 2009.

The 10th Edition of the WMF World Minigolf Championships will be taking place in Odense, Denmark from the 19th to the 22nd August and the Great Britain Minigolf Sport Team will be taking part for the fifth time, having previously had players competing in the 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007 events.

The six Great Britain Internationals taking part in the visit are Steve Gow, Jon Angel, Keith Kellard, Ruth Bullin, Chris Harding and David Corkett. Prior to the trip members of the group made the following comments:

The new Captain of the Great Britain Minigolf Sport Team and five times capped Great Britain International Steve Gow said “I am looking forward to learning more about the coaching aspect and developing new players.  Knowing how to prepare minigolf balls and lanes correctly is something that the British players rarely think about at home but doing these correctly can be shot savers.  Also playing on Standardised courses, whilst looking boring to the British eye, require better accuracy, a feel for the correct speed and mental attitude, which are very important for playing on MOS courses as well.

Five times capped Great Britain International Jon Angel said "Uniquely, the British Team has no WMF tournament standard courses like Eternit on which to practice in the UK, hence our training for European and World Minigolf Championships in recent years has been restricted to the 5 days preceding those tournaments.  When you compare this with many other nations who have the opportunity to train every week it is easy to see why the British Team has not been as competitive as we would have liked.”
 
“The WMF's new development fund has been granted to Great Britain in 2009 and it is helping to send our emerging nation to Vienna for three days where some of Austria's top coaches will help us improve our understanding of these tournament standard courses and balls, and generally help to improve our minigolf skills. The World Championships in Odense this summer will be played in part on Swedish Felt, the most difficult of all the standardised courses, so this training opportunity will be especially beneficial to us Brits!"

Ruth Bullin, twice capped for Great Britain and the reigning BMGA British Women’s Champion said “I am looking forward to this intensive training and it is a very generous gesture on the part of the WMF to encourage the development of minigolf as a serious sport in the UK. I hope to learn a lot about the courses which, as Jon says, we do not have the opportunity to practice on at home.

“My first experience of learning in more detail about Eternit and Felt courses, and the art of coaching, was at the 2008 Youth Minigolf Championships and I found it fascinating. Whilst I will be unable to participate in Odense this year, I am booked to go to the Youth Championships again which in 2009 is in Waldshut, Germany so hope to put my new skills to use there. Karsten Hein, the BMGA British Open Champion in 2006 has very generously offered to coach the British Youth Team and we are looking forward enormously to this event."
 
Chris Harding, former World Crazy Golf Champion and holder of one Great Britain International cap said “I'm most looking forward to the coaching aspect of the trip. I really want to make minigolf a major sport in the UK and feel that the skills I'll pick up in Austria will definitely help me develop the younger players who will be the future of our sport. Having great coaches like Thomas (Zeininger) and Willy (Bauer) at our disposal improved my game on my previous trip to Austria to such an extent that having another chance to learn from them is an opportunity not to be missed.”
 
Four times capped Keith Kellard said “I think that to be given the opportunity to work with the Austrian Federation, with whom we've had over 10 years association is something that will be a benefit not only to those players who are directly attending the coaching weekend, but to all UK players. We will learn from some of the world’s best players about all aspects of the sport, and be able to take this back home and pass on to others. To be able to work outside of a competition environment means that we will have time to concentrate on those areas that are normally passed over when the pressure of tournament preparation is at the fore.”

“The ability to prepare balls correctly is definitely something that is lacking in the game at home. Whilst, we do not need to know as much technically to play MOS, as opposed to Eternit and Beton courses, these are skills that will still be of huge benefit. On a more personal note, I look forward to experiencing Swedish Felt, a system I have yet to play. And as the World Championship in August will be played on this system, it will be great experience.”

Austrian Minigolf Coach Willy Bauer said “The training will involve both theory and practice and the players will learn about minigolf balls, lines to choose, the right playing position and automatic, offensive and defensive playing. There will also be lessons on preparation of balls during competition, nutrition, how to clean the lane before making the shot on different systems and other training methods. The goal is that the players attending will improve their personal playing abilities and be able to coach other BMGA players back in the UK.”

Further details about the World Minigolf Sport Federation can be found at http://www.minigolfsport.com/

Further details about the Austrian Minigolf Federation (the Österreichischer Bahnengolf-Verband) can be found at http://www.minigolf-web.at/

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 March 2009 21:34 )
 

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