By Michael Golembesky
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Golf is one of those games that can take a lifetime to master, but you have to start somewhere. For a handful of youths, that beginning started at the Silver Spruce Golf Course this summer.
About 40 youths participated in two, one-week courses at the Silver Spruce Golf Course, where they either took their first swing with a golf club or improved upon their experience with the game. Silver Spruce Golf Academy for kids was a chance for children of all ages to come together and enjoy the game of golf in a relaxing and constructive setting.
“I am a big believer that sometimes you can over emphasize the technical end of the game; but what you want to do is make sure they enjoy it and have a great experience so that it is something they want to continue to learn,” said Glen Barrett, Silver Spruce Golf Academy Professional Golf Association director of instruction and 40-year PGA professional.
The kids and young adults who attended the classes learned more than just drives, putting and chipping the ball out of sand traps; they learned to have fun playing the game.
“We are teaching them how to swing the club, the mechanics of the golf swing, but mainly it’s about learning to enjoy yourself,” said Barrett.
The saying is no two golf swings are alike, which means there are many different ways for players to approach the game. And like many other sports, it is up to the individual to decide how good of a player they want to be.
“Golf is a unique sport, everyone approaches it differently; everyone has their own golf swing. We want to teach them that they can be different and be as good as they want to, from someone who only plays three games a year to the avid golfer,” said Barrett.
Golf has many different skill levels of players; for some it is an excuse to get out and get some fresh air; for others it is nothing short of a passion for the game.
“We have three girls out here that will continue practicing for three more hours after the class is over because they want to get better. They have tape all over their hands from blisters but are still eager to get back out there the next day and continue,” said Barrett.
Not every kid is destined to be a professional golfer, but all you can really hope for is for them to discover their love for the game at their own pace and skill level.
“We are not here to build young golfers that are going to be really good; that’s not even on the radar. They are here to have fun and enjoy a part of life that they might want to take up one day. It’s a fun sport; it is soothing and relaxing to the capacity that you want to play it,” said Barrett.
For more information about Silver Spruce Golf Course, visit http://www.petersonafbgolf.com/.