CAMP PENDLETON — An afternoon spent on the greens at the Marine Memorial Golf Course has served as the perfect cure for any ailment for Camp Pendleton’s service members and their families for decades now, but it’s not just for grown-ups anymore.
Marine Corps Community Services offers kids ages 6 to 18 the opportunity to spend their summer days on the greens learning the ins and outs of a new hobby with Junior Golf Summer Camps.
“We have a two week camp that runs Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 in the afternoon that offers breakfast and lunch with instruction,” said Brianna Wright, golf operations, Marine Memorial Golf Course. “There is also a nine-week camp that runs two hours a day with the same instruction only spread out over a longer period of time.”
The next two-week clinic begins Aug. 1 and costs $299 per child. For more information, contact the Marine Memorial Golf Course at (760) 725-4756.
With plenty of outdoor activities for Camp Pendleton’s youth to choose from in the summer months, golf offers an opportunity to learn a sport requiring a whole new kind of skill.
“With golf specifically, it not only teaches them patience and a new sport, but it teaches them morals for life,” Wright said. “It teaches them honesty, etiquette, courtesy and to basically be aware of everything going on around them at all times, because you never know if another group is going to hit into you — safety is the number one thing we preach with children out here on the greens.”
Teaching children to be patient can be a challenge, which is why learning the art of golf at a young age can be beneficial for hand-eye coordination skills.
Noah Schlowe, an 11-year-old student of the course, joked he can hit the ball so hard that beating dad isn’t a problem at all, but knows it’s important to practice no matter what.
“It’s fun to be yourself and have fun when you’re golfing,” Schlowe said. “I want to be able to be in tournaments with my friends. I’m going to probably use this when I grow up because I want to be a professional. If I learn now, I don’t have to learn later. That’s why this class is awesome.”
Golf is known as an incredibly challenging sport for adults worldwide, which is why MCCS seeks to get youngsters interested in the sport while their motor skills are still developing.
“It’s amazing as an instructor to see them start out not even knowing what a club is and not knowing how to grip it properly to having a nice swing, nice finish and being able to hit the ball a hundred yards,” Wright said. “It’s a privilege for us as instructors to give back to our active duty service men and women but it’s also good for the kids. It’s great to see them learn a sport, take it up and actually continue it because it’s something they can use from the time that they’re 6 years old until they retire.”
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