Today we get to interview Aaron Oakley from River Ridge Golf Course where they do an amazing spring & summer class with PGA Jr League. One of the things we love about golf is that it's a sport that really values etiquette & manners. Learning through play is such a great way to raise kind, caring & polite kiddos. We also included a really great list of 10 reasons kids should get into golf.
What can parents expect their kids to learn at PGA Jr League?
This may sound a little simple, but my goal of the program is to teach the kids how to play golf. Each practice is dedicated to focusing on one or two golf skills (i.e. putting, chipping, full swing) with an emphasis on the four elements of etiquette: Safety, Consideration for Other Players, Pace of Play, and Care of the Course.
How are these classes different than other camps & classes in the area?
This program is unique because it transforms an individual sport into a team activity. The players wear numbered jerseys with their team name printed on the back (team names have varied from traditional like the Rockets to silly like the Gopher Nuggets).
Tell us about what each class looks like.
After a brief warm-up, the weekly practices involve an introduction to a particular golf skill (like chipping) followed by the players practicing the skill with supervision from Jennifer Kern, LPGA or me. Some of the practices will include play on the golf course to learn the format of the competitions.
How are the tournaments set up?
In PGA Jr. League, the competitions are called games instead of tournaments. Each game consists of four matches, and each match is broken down into three three-hole segments called flags. The players use a two-person scramble format where each team’s better shot is used so there is less pressure on individual performance.
What are some things that kids learn from playing golf that transfer to their world off the course?
This question is difficult to answer succinctly as there are so many life lessons learned on the golf course! Before even discussing how to play the game, Section I of the Rules of Golf introduces the etiquette of the game broken down into Safety, Consideration for Other Players, Pace of Play, and Care of the Course. In addition to many other things, the kids will learn how to respect others (including their safety) as well as to clean up after yourself…swiftly.
Do you have options for families who might need some help?
There are scholarship opportunities available for children who qualify for free or reduced lunch as well as children of Active Duty, Retired, or Reserve members of the military.
PGA Jr League
Register by May 13
River Ridge Golf Course
Captain Aaron Oakley
10 Reasons You Should Get Your Kids into Golf Today
1. Anyone Can Play
Golfers come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to be particularly strong, tall, lean or fast to succeed. Golf champions come in every shape and size imaginable. It’s never too early to start, and unlike most other sports, you can enjoy golf your entire life!
2. Minimal Risk
Unlike many other popular sports like baseball, soccer and football, the chances of injury, especially serious injury, are almost nonexistent; golf is a noncontact sport.
3. Safe and Positive Environment
The golf course is a safe place and facilitates mentoring relationships.
4. Lifelong Friendships
You never know who you will meet on a golf course, but it’s one of the easiest places in the world to make friends. Success breeds success, and people who play golf are by in large more successful than the average bear. Those are the people you want your kids hanging out with! Best of all, golf creates a unique bond so those friendships can be developed all over the world and last a lifetime!
5. Prepare for Business
It’s hard to think about it now, but kids grow up and the people they meet as children can play a huge part in their success later in life. Golf is a sport that helps prepare kids and teens for careers in business and other professional arenas. Even at 12 I was learning about real-life business every day from all the adults I played with.
6. Time Spent Outdoors
In today’s world of video games, smart phones and child obesity, it can be hard to drag your son or daughter off the couch. Golf is the perfect excuse to spend an entire day enjoying nature and presents the opportunity to develop healthy, lifelong exercise habits!
7. Important Life Lessons
Golf closely parallels real life as one experiences the highs and lows of the game. The range of experience, from birdies to bogeys, rewards a young person’s ability to keep each shot in perspective, manage one’s emotions, maintain a positive outlook and focus on the shot at hand. Golf is a sport that will teach your child integrity, discipline and respect. As they learn to conduct themselves on the golf course, these lessons will translate directly into everyday life. (See http://traitsofchampions.com)
8. College Scholarships
Avid golfers have a lot of opportunities when it comes to college funding. The earlier your child starts, the greater his or her chance is of gaining access to scholarship money.
9. Spend Time with Family
Golf is a game that encourages family participation. When children are young, they enjoy doing just about anything with you (but it doesn’t long last, so start now). Golf is an opportunity for quality bonding time, and it’s one that can last a lifetime.
10. It’s FUN
This should probably be at the top of the list. One of the best reasons to get your son or daughter involved with golf is that they’ll have an absolute blast. They’ll have the chance to learn new skills, both physical and mental, make new friends and discover new opportunities.