Young Whangarei golfers are soon to be set up with a state-of-the-art golfing facility at Whangarei Boys' High School.
With the support of Boys' High's Old Boys' Association, the facility will continue the growth of Boys' High's golfing academy established in 2009.
Old Boys' Association secretary Greg Weaver said the facility had come a long way since it was aired in 2010 as being a good idea, with building now underway. "We started out with "wouldn't this be a great place to do it [build a golf facility]"," explained Weaver. "After some joker said "let's chuck a classroom here", someone said "why not get a purpose-made garage built", which is what we're doing."
The facility will be a 15m by 5m garage complete with top-of-the-line technology and stroke analysis cameras to work on long-range shots.
Outside, there will be a putting green and bunker for golfers to progress their short game.
Weaver said the technology inside is some of the best around and will put the facility in the top 10 technology-wise in New Zealand.
Academy members will need to prove they have the drive and ability to succeed both in and out of the classroom. "Rather than having them [academy members] waste school time," Weaver explained, "they will be entering into a contract that says, "right, you're entering into the golf academy and if we get one sort of little thing from your teacher saying you're not doing your school work, then that's it mate, you're not doing this"."
To Weaver, it's about helping the students.
"The whole thing is to try and get them to get the ethic and say, "right, you have the golf ethic, now mirror that with your school work, because they have to have both"."
While being a member of the Boys' High golf academy is one way to ensure the use of the facility, it's not the only way. Weaver said the Old Boys' Association has made a pledge to the board of trustees to allow the facility to be available to years nine and 10 students at least two periods of physical education each year.
He said it was about getting kids in to have a hit so they can then decide if they want to be part of the academy.
For the Old Boys' Association, the new facility isn't the end of their dream of nurturing talented young golfers.
Old Boys' are keen to see a scholarship set up which would help aid talented golfers by keeping them involved with the academy for one more year after they finish their schooling.
"One thing we'd really love to be able to do over time is build up a scholarship fund. So if boys get to year 13 and they're not too sure where they want to go, we can almost carry them here and do a year 14 year.
"You just need one or two [to go professional and do well]. Look at Danny Lee, look at what he did for Rotorua Boys' High.
"This school has got the talent, but they don't necessarily get the chance to perform," said Weaver.
Details about the proposed name of the academy would be released shortly, he said.