Ben’s drive to succeed

Ben Henkel is a golfing star on the rise. 158418

By Justin Flynn

OCEAN Grove golfing sensation Ben Henkel is a young man with a determined outlook.
The 15-year-old, fresh from victory in the Stuart Appleby 2016 Regional Series, is stepping up his challenge to become one of the elites of the sport.
Henkel won the final event of the series in Sandhurst recently to clinch the title, which was played over eight rounds.
The Curlewis Golf Club member has been invited back to Huntingdale for a second scholarship. Only one other golfer has been invited back by the prestigious club in its history – Craig Spence.
Henkel’s next challenge is in the Hunter Valley where he will play in the Srixon International Junior Classic from 3 to 7 October.
“The dream is to go to the PGA tour and play well on it,” Ben said.
“My coach and I started a five-year plan nine months ago.”
Henkel’s mentor is the highly respected Kel Llewellyn, a PGA of Australia life-member, Victorian Golf Hall of Fame inductee and national coach of no less than six different countries.
“He’s improving my game,” Henkel said.
“In nine months my game has improved so much. He focuses a lot on the mental side of things and how you manage yourself on and off the course. He’s not just an on-course coach, but a life coach as well.”
You can see Henkel out practising most nights in summer at Curlewis.
“During winter it’s a bit tough and restrictive due to the light, but in summer I try to get out there most night,” he said.
“My putting is pretty good, but lately I’ve been hitting my driver pretty well. I found something in my swing (at Sandhurst) and got into a rhythm and it worked all day.”
In between practising and studying Year 10 at St Joseph’s Regional College, Henkel pays strict adherence to the gym at the advice of Llewellyn.
“A lot of people think you don’t need the gym for golf,” he said.
“It’s not about bicep curls or anything like that, but a lot of lunges and everything to with movement and flexibility and making sure your core strength is there.”