Learning from the pros - The Explorer: Sports

Learning from the pros

Juniors golf program puts the ‘fun’ in fundamentals

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Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 3:00 am

Last week, Oro Valley Parks and Recreation department held its 16th annual Junior Golf Camp.

For a couple of hours each day July 25-28, more than 40 golfers ages 6 to 17 received hands-on instruction from PGA pros at a number of northwest golf courses, including the Golf Club at Vistoso, Crooked Tree Golf Crouse and the Oro Valley Country Club.

With a total of about six hours, novice players were introduced to the sport while those with the basics under their belts received additional tips and advice.

Mike Wilson, a PGA professional golfer, has overseen the camp since the beginning.

He works alongside Billie Loehr, who organizes the volunteers, assigns kids to their groups and coordinates the scheduling of the weeklong camp.

“I think our goal is basically to introduce golf as a fun and a lifelong sport that they can take advantage of,” Wilson said. “We give them the basics to take it to the next level. And, of course, that comes with the support of their parents and their peers.”

Following three days at the camp, the young golfers competed in a scramble-type event on the fourth and final day “just to give the kids a little fun,” Wilson said.

The campers also received daily prizes ranging from visors and shirts to water bottles and golf balls.

“We’ve had some great golfers come through our program,” Wilson said. “Although it’s more of a beginner to intermediate camp, we’ve had some golfers come on and go play through high school.”

Over the course of the 16-year-old camp, Wilson estimated the program has introduced the game of golf to about 1,500 kids in Northwest Tucson.

The camp is made possible with the help of PGA professionals and other volunteers who donate their time to give the kids hands-on training. Those volunteers were: Todd Huizinga, the director of club operations at The Stone Canyon Club; Robert Moreno, the general manager at San Ignacio Golf Club; Robert Taylor, the golf professional at Dick’s Sporting Goods; Scott Schultz, the head PGA professional at Oro Valley Country Club; Susie Meyers, the teaching professional at the Ventana Country Club; and Christa Johnson, PGA professional.

Wilson added the camp is made possible with the help and support of Ainsley Legner, the director of Oro Valley’s Parks, Recreation, Library and Cultural Resources department.

“She has helped maintain the support of the town and the park’s department to keep the camp going,” Wilson said.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

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Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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