The grassroots in any sport is critical to the sport’s success.
Monday afternoon, 114 junior golfers teed off from the orange tees at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre, as the junior golf program kicked off.
It’s been a program that has been in the works for a few seasons now and two years ago on the first day of junior golfing, 15 players took part. Having 100 more join goes to show how strong the golf movement is in the Border City.
“We were expecting around 80,” said Jeff Graham, assistant golf professional. “It’s grown up quite a bit. It’s very rewarding. You feel as though you created quite a program here with the structure in the program. It’s awesome to see you are growing golf.”
While Graham said tournament golf is dying, the sport itself is growing. And the junior program is a perfect example of that growth locally.
Junior members who registered earlier in the year were welcomed to the course for a round of nine holes, plus food and prizes afterwards. For those who didn’t register, it was $10 to play on Monday. With the first day of the work week being the slowest on the course, it’s a great way to not only grow the game in Lloydminster, but also have the tee boxes full throughout the day.
“It’s a game you can play till your 90,” said Graham. “So the more people you can get out here when they are younger, the longer they are going to play.”
While there are rules and regulations the golf course enforces, and the gentlemanly aspect of the game as well, Graham said the junior program is all about having fun and just getting the kids the experience in the fairways and on the greens.
“If the kids aren’t having fun, they won’t be coming back,” said Graham. “They need to be having a ton of fun.”
The junior membership at the course is $330 for 12- to 18-year-olds, and $230 for youth 11 years old and under. The nine-hole round begins at noon every Monday at Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre. For more information, contact the golf course at 306-825-5494.