Register her for the Lobo Men's Golf Junior Camp second session (June 9-12)
By Greg Archuleta
UNM Assistant Director of Communications
The purpose of the Lobo Men’s Junior Golf Camp isn’t about finding kids that can put a small white ball into a hole in the grass better than anyone else. It’s about letting kids find out whether they like putting a small white ball into a hole in the grass.
The first session of the junior camp is taking place this week at the UNM Championship Course. Boys and girls ages 5-18 are learning the fundamentals, rules and etiquette of golf. Lobo coach Glen Millican says the goal of the camp is a simple one.
“We feel like we’ve got the best facility in the state here,” he said. “I want to give people the opportunity to experience some of the facilities that a couple of very good college golf programs use – the Lobo men’s golf team and the Lobo women’s golf team. My ultimate goal is to create more interest at a young age in golf, and to be able to come out here and player where guys like (professional players) Tim Herron, Tommy Armour and Charlie Beljan have played, I think that could be a very motivating thing for the kids.”
The four-day session is a chance for kids of different ages and different skill levels to receive instruction to improve their game or introduce them to the game.
“For some of our older players who are more advanced, they have more specific things they want to work on, and we can help them with those things, and that can make a big difference,” Lobo men’s assistant coach Jim Garren says. “We’ve also got some beginners out here for the first time, and it’s fun to see them get better every day. You can see the improvement from day one to day two to day three.”
The coaches and staff meet with the campers as a group when they arrive, and then they break up into groups, depending on skill level. Garren says the first thing the staff talks about relates to course safety, followed by golf etiquette.
Then it’s on to swinging the club and learning how to play the game – according to the level of skill each golfer has.
One elementary school player, Jasie, said had no prior experience with golf before attending camp. So far, she said, she is learning a lot.
“I came here because I wanted to learn how to play golf and have fun with (new friends),” she said. “I’m learning how to chip, putt and how to hold your hands when you go to the driving range. I think it’s cool. I’ve never been to this golf course before.”
And that’s what Millican strives to achieve in hosting the summer camps.
“Golf is a sport where it’s a little harder to get kids interested in and exposed to,” he said. “It’s not usually organized in a group setting for a younger age, like soccer or baseball. Once they come out and see what it’s about, hopefully they want to stick with it. Hopefully, that gets them to ask mom and dad to take them to hit golf balls, and then they want to get involved with the golf program at their school.”
Registration still is available for the Lobo Men’s Junior Golf Camp’s second session from June 9-12. Click on this link for more information.