Sleepy Hole clinic teaches link lessons to youths

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 28, 2002

On the Sleepy Hole golf course driving range, club pro Rick Bidnik is holding link lessons for several youngsters from in and around Suffolk. Right now, he’s focused on one player who can’t seem to keep his eyes on the ball.

&uot;There’s not other way that you can top the ball without coming out of your swing too soon,&uot; Bidnik tells the teenager. &uot;Keep your head down all the way through.&uot;

Finally, the youngster’s attention stays on the ball long enough for him to knock a drive. Unfortunately, the ball curves off to the left.

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&uot;That okay, because we know your hands are working better,&uot; says Bidnik. &uot;That’s the hook that we wanted.&uot;

Every Saturday, Bidnik and fellow pro Eddie Luke hold the clinic for local youths. &uot;This is just something that I do everywhere I go to help the kids,&uot; says Bidnik, who also taught the course to Outer Banks youths at Point Golf Course. &uot;If you get kids interested in golf while they’re young, they might stick with it all their lives.&uot;

One such case is Robby Black, 12. &uot;I’d like to improve to where golf’s a fun game to play,&uot; says Black, a student at John Yeates Middle School.

He’s trying to perfect the one-piece takeaway. &uot;That’s when you keep your hands quiet (unmoving) and keep the club in alignment. You don’t move your hands and keep the club straight, and you hit the ball straight.&uot;

Down at the chipping area, Luke is helping the shortest players with their short game. &uot;You want to start these kids at their early age,&uot; he says of the 5-9 year-olds. &uot;You teach them grip, stance, and setup. If they can’t hold the club right or stand right, they can’t hit the ball good.&uot;

Even though his nine-iron reaches almost to his chest, six-year-old Dylan Caddy diligently works at his game. &uot;I’ve learned to swing the club and stand right,&uot; says the Chesapeake youth. &uot;I like hitting the ball really high up in the air.&uot;

Like most players his age, Caddy calls Tiger Woods his favorite PGA star. &uot;He’s the only one I like. I think I’ll be playing like him in about two weeks!&uot;

The clinic will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m every Saturday until Nov. 2.

For more information, call 538-4100.