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Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer golf camp a great time for kids to learn the game

The summer is here and it's a great time for kids to go to camp and learn a skill they may not get the opportunity to do during the school year.

For the past two summers one of the sports of choice for my youngest daughter Graci has been golf.  It was something she wanted to do because my husband likes playing golf and she could go play with him if she learned a few skills.

Since golf can be a little more costly than other sports, we decided summer was a perfect time for her to learn how to play. I found out Largo Recreation had a golf camp at the Largo Golf Course throughout the summer and kids can go week to week. It was a reasonable price at $60 a week for each kid for two hours a day, so last year she started playing golf. I actually had both my girls in camp last year, but my older daughter wanted to focus more on swimming this summer.

Graci practices her swing supervised by Coach Eric Swanman
Graci loved golf and now it's all she wants to do. She hopes to one day go pro. I think we are a little too early for that but, we can shoot for a college scholarship. I have heard there are quite a few girls college golf scholarships that are out there and go unused each year. It's a great sport and one that may pay off for my daughter's college.   

Graci at last year's tournament
After last summer, my daughter even attended  the after school program once a week for instruction. This summer she decided to go to camp again. Each week they learn something new and play a few holes of golf. Of course the coaches make it fun. The kids do putting exercises and play for prizes like a golf ball or a golf towel. The last day of the week, the kids get to go out and play a few holes of golf and ride in the golf cart. I think riding in the golf cart is the highlight for the kids, especially Graci. Every day, my daughter gets so excited to tell me how she played. What's really exciting is she can't wait to call her dad at work and tell him how she did. She'll tell him which club she used and which green she was on and give him a play by play. I asked her what she likes most about the day. She tells me she likes everything!

Since we have been going to the camps for the past two summers now, I have been able to learn about the coaches by talking to them and from what my daughter tells me. There are usually 4 golf coaches out on the greens with about 10-15 junior golf campers. The coaches are wonderful. Each one has a unique reason for being at the Largo course.

There's coach Eric, who is a teaching pro at the course. He started playing at the Largo course when he was 4 years old and has been playing there for more than 40 years and now teaches. The golf course supervisor is Coach Jason and he's been for more than five years. The other coaches are Bryce, Andrew and Chris, who all attended the summer camps when they were little and now are helping out.  

Graci and her team at last
year's tournament
The kids also receive a camp shirt at the end summer have the opportunity to play in a tournament. Watching my daughter play in the tournament last year was really neat. She looked like a pro to me out there. She was so poised. I couldn't believe an 8 year old could be so focused. Camps like these are a great opportunity to find out if your child likes a sport and if they are good at it. I would have never thought golf would be one of my daughter's favorite sports until seeing how much she loves to play and it all started by signing her up for a summer camp.

Summer sessions are for kids ages 5-14. The camps will continue until August 14 and is from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The cost is $60 for the week. If you are interested in learning more about the golf camps you can visit or call Largo Golf Course Pro Shop at 727.518.3024.

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