Passion project earns world record

Passion project earns world record

What have you done during your COVID-19 “shelter-in-place”? Catch up on a few books you’d wanted to read? Learn a new skill or three? Provide guidance to children learning remotely? ISD student, Ben Willis, took a challenge from his physical education teacher, Mrs Burghout-Lemmers, to work on a passion and perfect it during our school’s shelter-in-place spring break.

Ben is an avid golfer, playing in around 30 tournaments around the world each year. He first picked up a club around age 1 and began playing competitively when he was 10 years old. Suffice to say, golf is his passion and quickly became the focus of his passion project challenge.

When spring break during COVID-19 began, Ben’s family had received a delivery of sand to distribute around the garden. There was a bit of extra sand remaining and Ben used it to create a sand bunker in his backyard.

Ben also installed a net, so that he could practise his swing. One way to track distances when hitting into a net is to use a Trackman. This is a device that is placed behind the ball and accurately records the distance of each shot.

Armed with his bunker, Trackman and net, Ben focused his passion project on a test of accuracy, the “Matt Wallace Test”. Together with Trackman, Matt has created the “Matt Wallace Test” as a test of accuracy for golfers worldwide. 

The test gives a golfer ten randomised shots to make at distances from 45 to 170 meters. The Trackman measures the result and provides a score for each of the 10 shots. A perfect score would be 100 (10 points for each shot).

Matt Wallace, holds a score of 92.9 on the test; Tiger Woods, a 92.7. Ben decided he would focus on this test for his passion project and work to improve his technique. 

After three days of focus, Ben’s set a world record score of 94.7! 

Ben has more than successfully completed his passion project challenge! I don’t know about you, but my new recipe for pasta and peas that I found during shelter-in-place doesn’t seem so interesting anymore. Off to think about my potential world record…and get inspiration from Mrs. Burghout-Lemmers.

  • Anna Gsanger