By Rob Kiser
Echo Hills PGA Professional Chip Fox made a decision to change his junior golf camp this season.
One that made it more fun for the kids — and likely, a more popular choice in the future in the camp that last six weeks on Wednesday mornings.
Instead of five weeks of instruction and playing the final week, the kids will get instruction for three weeks, before breaking up into four teams and playing Ryder Cup style matches the final three weeks.
The Ryder Cup matches format were two-person scramble teams.
The matches were up to nine holes and the kids teed off from locations that fit their skill level.
Every three holes, a flag was awarded to the winning team for those three holes. Each player received a bag tag and stickers that they can put on back of the bag tag for every flag they received.
Each player also received a team jersey to wear, with a number.
It was a big hit with the participants as well.
“I think they were all excited about it,” Fox said. “It is something the PGA wants to do and it introduced them to competition. Even though we had a couple bade weather days, I think the kids really enjoyed it. I think they will look forward to coming back and doing it again next year.”
Camp participant Nate Uhlenbrock agreed.
Uhlenbrock, who will be a sophomore at Troy, is the most skilled golfer at the camp and was the overall MVP.
“I thought it was great,” he said. “I really liked it. It gave me a chance to work with some of the younger kids and was a lot of fun. It is a great way to get ready for next golf season.”
In a tight competition, the Gray team won with 41 points.
Sharing team MVP honors were Jackson Elliott, Collin Moore and Jacob Felts.
Other team members included Kelsey Bachman (captain), Jarred Gullett, Mason Darner, Andrew Grunkemeyer, Zane Wise, Ben Romey, Addison Huber, Xander Foster, Drew Hinkle and Reagon Steiner.
The team was coached by Doug Harter and Kyle Ingle.
The Green team, led by Uhlenbrock (captain) and team MVP Colton Beougher, was second with 38.5.
Other team members included Drake Widney, Levi Marcum, Jon Steiner, Devon Sever, Grant Humphrey, Cassidy Clark, Ben Huber, Allana Darner, Bryce Phillipps and Quintin Bachman.
The team was coached by Joe Slusher and Andrew Slusher.
The Blue team, led by team MVP Max King, had 37.5.
Other team members included Skyler Sloan (captain), Jackson Huelskamp, Nick Swank, Zane Beougher, Kameron Darner, David McCool, Evan Hensler, Hayden Sever, Aiden Webster, Tate Kuhlman, Conner Humphrey and Caleb Hembree.
The team was coached by Ron Schultz and Andy Johnson.
The Red team, led by team MVP Brandon Sever, had 37 points.
Other team members included Derek McCool (captain), Christian Starrett, Weston Stahl, Dylon Sever, Brady Evans, Andrew Rose, Tokota Jackson, James Larger, Matthew Galbreath, Aiden Campbell, Colton Rittenhouse and William Bollinger.
The team was coached by Marty Jackson and Mike Lavey.
And in the end, all the participants were winners — along with the future of junior golf in Piqua.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.