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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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

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

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Swimming (@4 p.m.)

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Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

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

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

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

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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