Youngsters take to the links

 

Declan Waller, 5, hits a pitch shot under the watchful eye of Bear Lake golf coach Roark Pargeon at the junior golf clinic at Bear Lake Highlands.

Declan Waller, 5, hits a pitch shot under the watchful eye of Bear Lake golf coach Roark Pargeon at the junior golf clinic at Bear Lake Highlands.

BEAR LAKE — Part of golf’s next generation was on display at Bear Lake Highlands this week, in its annual junior golf clinic.

The weeklong clinic culminated in a skills competition, but the real winner was the sport itself, which saw the creation of up to 17 potential lifelong participants.

Bear Lake Highlands general manager Garret Waller said that a good time was had by all.

“Usually, we have between 15-40 kids, depending on when schools get out, and their families’  vacation plans and whatnot,” Waller said. “This year, the numbers are down a little bit, but they all seem to have a good time.”

The clinic is the legacy of one of the founding members of the Bear Lake Golf Association, the club that built what’s now Bear Lake Highlands, Maynard Hoeh. Hoeh died in 2002, but the course still stages a memorial golf outing in his honor, the proceeds of which fund this junior clinic, as well as helping out the Bear Lake High School golf team.

The clinic is free to all, and includes a week of instruction, prizes for the skills competitions and also a free T-shirt and certificate of participation.

Bear Lake golf coach Roark Pargeon, one of the instructors at the clinic, said that it’s important for the future of the sport to get kids out onto the course early.

“A junior golf program is a great feeder for any golf coach,” Pargeon said. “You can just see the confidence in the players who start early and go through the whole program.

“Seeing these young kids out here, you can just see the future.”

Pargeon said that there is noticeable improvement during the week.

the kids over the course of the week.

“You see progress,” he said. “When you see kids leaning when they pitch, because they’ve been taught that, those little things will pay off in the long run. They’re enthused about hitting the ball well, just as we all are.”

The weeklong clinic ends with a skills competition. The top finishers of those individual tests are as follows:

Putting

1. Trey Waller

2. Shaely Waller

3. Cade James

Long Drive

1. Trey Waller

2. Shaely Waller

3. Cade James

Target

1. Cade James

2. Shaely Waller

3. Heyden Howes

Chipping

1. Robbie Burrus

2. Josie Howes

3. Declan Waller

Pitching

1. Josie Howes

2. Robbie Burrus

3. Jacob Farfsing

Hole Shot

1. Jacob Farfsing

2. Josie Howes

3. Declan Waller

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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