|Written by Bruce Young|
|Thursday, 18 May 2006|
Name: Brendan Jones
Born in the western New South Wales town of West Wyalong on March 3rd, 1975, Brendan moved to Moruya on the southern coast of New South Wales at the age of six months and then just a few months later to nearby Tuross Head. His father, Trevor, had received a transfer with the Bank for which he was working and hence the move to the coast.
Brendan's first interest in the game came when his father decided to take up the game and Brendan thought he also would give it a try. Like so many kids brought up in such a laid back coastal town, Brendan took advantage of the opportunity to play tennis, cricket and even surfed as he did what kids do, enjoy life.
Brendan joined the Moruya Golf Club soon after taking up the game. "Turros Head was in the process of developing a small golf course there," said Brendan. "I joined Moruya and although I played occasionally at Turros Head, Moruya became my club."
At the age of thirteen, Brendan attended one of the many clinics that coach, Alex Mercer conducted throughout country New South Wales. "I just tagged along one day and have stayed with Alex since," said Brendan. "Even when I went to the AIS in 1993, I continued to spend time with Alex as he knew the aspects of my game and swing that were unique to me. Ross Herbert was the coach at the AIS, but I was keen to maintain the continuity and the player/coach relationship that I had built with Alex.
Brendan made South Coast age group teams but received instant elevation to the Senior State (NSW) side when selected for the Inter State series in Tasmania in 1992. "I'd won a lot of secondary schools events and was doing well in junior events and made the under 18 Australian team in 1992, so those factors got me the spot on the Senior State side, added Brendan, "I never really got to play in the junior State side."
As a result of that success, Brendan was offered a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport's Golf Academy in Melbourne and after two years there, stayed on in Victoria for another year, working at the Dunes Golf Club which was nearing completion on the Mornington Peninsula.
"Working at the Dunes gave me a good insight into what goes into the creation and set up of a golf course," he said. "I was in the pro shop and I was on the ground staff during the latter part of construction so it has helped me with an understanding of those things and probably now makes me more aware of the amount of work that goes into such. I think I was lucky to have had that chance."
At the end of 1995, Brendan was keen to get back to New South Wales to get more experience and play Pennants in the Sydney competition. When he indicated that intention to several friends in the game, it was suggested that he might like to join the Castle Hill Golf Club in the north west of Sydney. "There were a couple of options as far as clubs to play at was concerned," said Brendan, "but I had played a lot of junior golf with Andrew, Mark and Glen Thompson and they encouraged me to join Castle Hill."