One of the boys groups practises swinging with help from instructors. The junior golf program at the Amherst Golf Club is having a successful season.
©Chelsey Gould - Amherst News
AMHERST - The Amherst summer junior golf program is having a successful season with high enrolment and good weather.
Usually the program sees about 50 to 60 participants, but this year is special. Fundraisers were held last winter to provide free enrolment for 25 youth, which led to a high participation of 76 youth ranging from age nine to 14 this summer.
The youth play nine holes on Mondays and on Thursdays they get group lessons from staff, practising skills such as chipping, putting and driving. With their enrolment, they also have club membership, allowing them to play outside of the program.
According to Cayne Amos, chairman, the club hopes to make the fundraiser sponsoring 25 youth an annual occurrence starting in the summer of 2019. The fundraising will start in 2018 to get more support during the summer golfing season.
“We’ve got to make things easier for kids to get involved in things or else they’re just going to sit there and look at their electronics and not want to try anything new,” said Amos. “So all that we’ve done here with our fundraising effort is try to make it so that they have an opportunity to at least try it for a very minimal cost.”
Of the 76, there are 19 girls enrolled. Amos says golf is the quickest-growing sport for female numbers.
Upcoming on Aug. 9 is the Dwight Jones junior invitational. The club is hoping to get more numbers for the tournament, which is optional for junior golfers.
On Aug. 28 the junior golfers will participate in a club championship to finish the summer.
The youth are enjoying being outdoors and working on their golfing skills.
“The most challenging thing I did was hitting over the ponds, hitting over the gullies,” said Ethan Amos, a junior golfer. “I like driving on the golf cart.”
A number of participants are also in hockey, and use golf to practise balance.
“I always wanted to try it and then my mom signed me up,” said Nick Frizzle, junior golfer. “You get to practise for hockey too and it’s fun, and I have friends.”
Cayne Amos really appreciates the help that the program gets from staff and parent volunteers, who help the children and provide supervision while others are with instructors.
“Without those people, kids would lose interest,” said Amos. “That allows each kid to have some instructional time with Cliff and Michael.”
Amos feels that golf is a huge learning ability for youth in regard to etiquette and testing one’s abilities.
“It’s not a game where you compete necessarily against one another,” said Amos. “You compete against the golf course and how it’s playing that day.”