Golf column: Growing golf for future generations

Golf is a wonderful game that can be played for a lifetime.

It is a game that will challenge you at all times but will offer you rewards that no other sport can match.

Ben Williams, Assistant Golf Professional at TPC-Twin Cities

Ben Williams, Assistant Golf Professional at TPC-Twin Cities

In order to feel the joy and sorrow that golf can produce it is important for us to start at a young age.

That is why the professional staff at TPC Twin Cities, modeled our junior golf program after the PGA Sports Academy.

The program is powered by United Healthcare and is designed to show children of all ages how fun the game can be by breaking it down and making it relatable to them. There are three levels of the PGA Sports Academy that touch on the most basic ideas to some advanced rules and swing concepts.

Level one begins with a basic overview of the game by explaining the goal of golf and who they can go to for help. This level also gives them the basics when it comes to the golf course, scoring and some fun games they can play.

Kids at this level are like sponges when it comes to learning so it is important for us as teachers to give them the tools they need to not only enjoy the game but to excel in it.

Level two starts to break down the game into types of golf shots and the full swing. This level begins with a review of level one so the young golfers do not forget what they have learned. We begin to show the young golfers the proper way to hold the golf club and how to aim. This level also focuses a lot on fitness and how important it is to be active and eat well. Level two starts to develop and improve the young golfer’s skills by showing the putting, chipping, pitching and bunker play. Finally, in level two, we begin to look at different formats that can be played and rules.

Level three is the most advanced and is offered to junior golfers that are comfortable with the first two levels.

In level three we go even deeper into the importance of an active healthy lifestyle and how it will allow them to be more successful in golf and life. We will then revisit how to make practice fun and how to keep track of their progress. During this level the young golfer will go much deeper into the rules and more complicated formats. Finally, level three will show the golfer how to prepare for competition and how to be a good sport.

At this point the golfer is aware of all that golf has to offer them. They will understand the game and that it is meant to be enjoyed.

We have seen many of our young golfers go on and thrive in competitive golf.

Just this season we had two junior golfers compete in the Minnesota State Golf Tournament.

We have also seen one of our younger golfers succeed in a national junior golf event.

Not only have we seen juniors be competitive, we have also seen a growth in junior golf at the club.

By showing young golfers how fun the game can be we ensure the future of the game is safe in good hands.

 

Ben Williams is an assistant golf professional at the TPC-Twin Cities in Blaine.

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