As unbelievable as it may seem, the Juniors won El Paraiso’s Ryder Cup yet again. This is an annual competition organised by our resident Pro, Daniel Westermark, when he puts together teams of the Juniors he trains to play against the unsuspecting parents and surrogate parents. This year Daniel decided on a Foursomes Match Play competition, not the easiest of formulas and one that can often lead mums and dads to the divorce lawyers. The youngsters on the other hand, seem to bond even more, discussing and calculating, even when in trouble. It’s all a game to them, whereas for the parents it’s about losing face. The final score on the day was a rousing victory for the juniors by 4.5 points to 1.5 points.
But what is it that makes these youngsters so good? Is it their young, supple bodies? Is it in the genes? Perhaps it’s because spending hours chipping and pitching on the range is a ‘fun’ way to avoid homework? Perhaps it’sthe little drills their coach Daniel invents that make them putt like demons, or the techniques he uses to hone their confident, smooth swings. Maybe it’s the camaraderie and subtle competitiveness only golf can inspire. Maybe it’s just funin the sun…
Whatever the reason, these youngsters are unbeatable. It’s true, the world we live in today seems turbulent and uncertain to say the least. Certainly not many of our Juniors will make their living from golf, but for the moment it is an influence in their lives that keeps them focused, driven and builds confidence. Golf is a sporty outdoor activity that doesn’t involve intense physical exertion, but requires technique and savvy.
It subtly develops self-control and patience.
Maria Contreras, our very own El Paraíso Junior Club Champion, is a happy-go-lucky, cheerful teenager, loving nothing more that texting and chatting and socialising with her friends. She also happens to be an A- student in science, math and biology. At the age of 8 years old, she was put in the hands of Daniel Westermark. Over the years Maria has turned into a very talented, competitive golfer. Now her uncle and father take her all round the country, competing. And winning. Today at the age of 16, she is down to 0.3 handicap. She is ranked 3rd in the Royal Andalucía Golf Federation. Maria faces an important choice: trying to make a career as a professional sportsperson. Maria’s plan is to graduate with her baccalaureate in two years, then apply for a golf scholarship with an American university. She must take SAT examinations and the TOEFL examination that will determine which universities will offer her the best package. Maria is smart and is very much aware that, through golf, she will have the opportunity to receive an excellent university education. Then, the world will be her oyster.
At El Paraíso we can only hope that other Juniors will follow Maria. We wish them luck and support them. Even though they consistently beat us every year in our ‘Ryder Cup