The TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club is looking to promote and grow the game among young people in the Estevan area, so it partnered with Spruce Ridge School for a golf night in the school's gymnasium on March 5.
About 80 students participated in the event, and some parents were also present. They used oversized indoor and outdoor plastic golf equipment that is weighted like traditional golf clubs. The balls they hit were weighted like traditional golf balls, but they were made of Velcro to stick to targets.
“We set up nine stations, or nine holes, and kids rotated around in groups, and they did different activities,” said Woodlawn assistant pro Amanda Minchin, who is also in charge of Woodlawn's junior golf program. “They did putting, chipping, pitching and 'launching,' as it's called, where they get to do a full swing.”
Woodlawn volunteers worked at each station, and taught the youth the basics of the sport.
Minchin said Spruce Ridge was chosen for the clinic because it's the largest elementary school in the city, and they were approached by school community council member Cathy Empey.
“We're looking for initiatives to get golf into schools in a different way,” said Minchin. “We were thinking that maybe we would do some physical education classes.”
It was important to get parents involved in junior golf as well, Minchin said, so that Woodlawn could give them advice and information to get their children out on the course.
“We're definitely trying to get more kids involved, and more families, too,” said Minchin.
For parents who don't golf, but have children who are interested in the sport, it can be a little intimidating, because parents might have to be a little more hands-on, regardless of whether it's on the golf course, the putting green or the driving range.
Golf also teaches life skills, she said, such as honesty and integrity.
Minchin said Spruce Ridge would be the only school to host a junior golf night this year, but Woodlawn hopes to be in more schools in 2015.