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YOUNG GOLFERS IN ACTION: Camp offers fun, learning for aspiring players

The City of Andalusia’s summer kids golf camp got off to a good start on Wednesday at the Evans Barnes Golf Course.

“We decided to do it a little different this year,” camp instructor Art Gilbert said. “This year, we upped the age requirement and I think that is going to pay great dividends.”

Raising the age requirement means getting more time on the actual golf course, Gilbert said.

“With the older kids, we can get them out on the course,” Gilbert said. “That’s what they want to do. They are more mature and you don’t have to worry about them as much.”

Gilbert said that campers will still spend time on the driving range to hone in skills.

“Although we are going to be playing more golf this year, we are still going to work on skills on driving range and practice green.”

The turnout for this year’s camp has been great, Gilbert said.

“We had a great turnout yesterday,” Gilbert said. “There were 14 kids that signed up and there were 14 kids that showed up. We’ve got several that have been coming to the camp for the past several years.”

Gilbert said that they group has already shown they have a knack for the game.

“I was very impressed with they way they hit the ball,” Gilbert said. “There are probably four or five of them that will go on to play on the high school team.”

Having campers that return each year also helps the instructors, Gilbert said.

“This year I’ve talked to some of the more experienced campers to step up as team leaders for our group,” Gilbert said. “We had a couple of kids out here helping the other campers with the foot and hand placement. That helps us out and will also allow us to get on the course more this year.”

Gilbert said that the camp wouldn’t be possible without the help of others.

“One person can’t do this alone,” Gilbert said. “Without Wayne Lee and Dale Anderson, there is no way that I could do this camp. Dale works with the high school team and has a lot of knowledge about the game. Both of them have a great way of connecting with the kids. I also want to think the City of Andalusia and the staff at the golf course for allowing us to use the facility and providing us with everything that we need.”

The camp continues to run throughout the summer on Wednesday afternoons, Gilbert said.

“We are out here one day per week,” Gilbert said. “Every day that we are out here we are covering different aspects of the game.”

Aside from learning how to play golf, Gilbert said a big part of the camp would be to talk about how to act on the golf course.

“A big thing we want to cover is golf etiquette,” Gilbert said. “That’s a big part of the game of golf. Knowing how to behave on the golf course is very crucial. It’s important to know how to treat the course, as well as how to treat the other players on the course.”