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Teaching the next generation of golfers

Kids had the opportunity to learn more about golf at a week-long day camp at Suffolk Golf Course’s Summer Junior Golf Camp.

Nearly 30 students attended to learn about driving, chipping, putting and proper etiquette. During the week, the students, ages 8 to 14, were split into groups of similar ages to work on their techniques. They practiced drills and played games like tic-tac-toe. On the last day, the students were able to try playing on the actual golf course.

“Golf is not an easy sport, but if they learn it at such a young age, they’ll have more time to practice and get better by the time they get the chance to actually play,” said Robert Hedrick, an assistant golf professional at Suffolk Golf Course.

Helping Hedrick out at the camp were Dale Pinchbeck, Mike Bigony and Denny Lewis. These volunteers have more than 100 years of experience between them and, according to Hedrick, some of the best golfers in Suffolk.

This is Suffolk Golf Course’s third year of this summer camp. The first year only had one session with around 15 participants. Last year, the golf course hosted two sessions with about 25 students at each. This year is the golf course’s biggest year, with three sessions with around 30 to sign up for each. Each session usually has only a few, if any, returning students.

The goal of these camps is to help teach the game to younger generations in Suffolk. Not many young people have exposure to golf, so Suffolk Golf Course wants to ensure there are players rising up to continue the game.

“It’s fun and rewarding to see these kids learn and get better each time I see them,” said Hedrick. “Really, seeing the progression is the most humbling part of doing this. The camp is hard work, but I enjoy it so much. I kind of get upset when it’s the last day.”

The third and last session for the summer will take place Aug. 16-19. A limited number of spots are still available. Call Suffolk Golf Course at 539-6298 to sign up.