Junior golf swings into action
Learning. Safety. Fun.
They are the three simple keys that directors of the Carson Valley Junior Golf program are using to channel the athletic abilities of Valley youth into the discipline of the links.
Alan Hoover, the head pro at the Carson Valley Golf Course, and his wife DeeDee started the program nearly three years ago with the intent of getting area youth dialed into the game.
Basing the education on 10 keys to success, the Hoovers are beginning to find more and more that their program is about much more than just learning how to play a sport.
“Yeah, It’s about learning the basics and teaching the techniques,” DeeDee Hoover said. “But there are built-in life lessons about discipline and perseverance that naturally come with this game.”
The program is based primarily on “The 10 keys to success,” which participants must regularly recite and apply regularly in their lessons.
The keys include concepts like responsibility, judgment, honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respectfulness, confidence, perseverance, courtesy and fun.
Instructors employ the keys as participants are tutored in various disciplines in golf ranging from the driving range to chipping and to putting.
The program is open to youths ages 7 to 17 and runs throughout the spring and summer. Participants must first complete an intro clinic before taking part in regularly-scheduled group lessons.
Group lessons are kept relatively small with a maximum of 21, making for about a 4-to-1 student-instructor ratio.
“We can’t stress enough the importance that the kids have fun while staying safe,” DeeDee Hoover said. “The future of our community is in the hands of these juniors, which is why we wanted to create a program like this, that takes something fun, like golf, and translates these valuable life tools in our instruction.”
The concepts are kept simple, from simply believing that one can succeed to supporting teammates and focusing on sportsmanship.
“Kids hear exactly what you say and try to do it that way,” Hoover said. “So you keep the teaching simple, and it is easier for them to perform and learn how to play correctly.”
Several intro clinics will be offered in May.
Hoover said that there is the possibility of a tiny tots program for 4-to-6-year-olds being established, and that she is a merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts, so scouts can earn a golf badge through the program.
For more information on Carson Valley Junior Golf, call the Carson Valley Golf Course at (775) 265-3181.
n Joey Crandall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.