By Rob Kiser
Echo Hills PGA professional Chip Fox recently completed another successful junior camp.
One thing that made it more fun for the kids was the change in format for the third straight year.
Instead of five weeks of instruction and playing the final week, the kids got instruction for three weeks, before breaking up into 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.
“I think they were all excited about it,” Fox said. “It is something the PGA wants to do and it introduces them to competition. I think the kids really enjoy it and look forward to it. The camp was a huge success this year. We had some bad weather the first two weeks, but were able to get the junior golfers ready for the last three weeks and tournament time.”
The teams were broken into four teams and each team played against each other to determine the winning team. This year’s winning team was the Blue team comprised of Connor VanSkyock, Conrad Werling, Delaney Davis, Grant Humphrey, Gavin Blore, Evan Hensler, Andrew Hohlbein, Evan VanSkyock, Trayce Mercer, Elise Hempker, Blayne Ormberg, Brayden Schwartz, James Larger, Hannah Brooks, Abram Friend, Caiden Hollingsworth, Brenner Ormberg, Devin Schwartz and Spencer Ford.
Each team had an MVP and there was an overall MVP. That went to Carter Maxon of the Gold team.
Other team MVPs were Evan Hensler, Blue team; Drew Hinkle, Gray team; Owen Evilsizor, Gold team; and Max King, Red team.
Fox could’t do it without all the volunteers.
“This year we had almost 50 percent more golfers than the last few years so it was important to have volunteers to help with safety and to keep the young golfers get around the course,” Fox said. ” A lot of the volunteers are members here and I would like to thank them for their help. They included Marv Simmons, Marty Jackson, Doug Harter, Brian Webster, Rick Ramer, Harry Ramer, Brett Davis, Tim Johnston, Lloyd Shoemaker, Dave Brown, Mark Sowry and Ryan Ormberg. I also had past junior golfers assist like Andrew Slusher, Nate Uhlenbrock and Kyle Cotner. Current and past golf coaches helped out and their names are Andy Johnson, Ron Schultz, Josh Burns, Mark Evilsizer and new Athletic Director of Covington schools Ashley Johnson. Thank you to Unity National Bank and Scott Rasor and Bryant Fox for donating their time for our junior golfers.”
Fox also had plenty of support for his camp.
“It takes more than volunteers to make for a successful junior camp,” he said. “We had money donations from Dennis Steinke, Tim Johnston, Tim Tyler and Echo Hills golf board. Joe Thoma of Joe Thoma Jewelers supplied our juniors with the medals for the winning and runner up teams and the MVP plaques. Gail, Scott, and Kyle Reardon of Atlantis Sportswear were so kind to supply our jerseys. I also want to thank Kirt Huemmer and crew for having the golf course in immaculate shape and the City of Piqua for the use of the course.
“I also want to thank Rob Kiser and Mike Ullery from the Piqua Daily Call for the continuous coverage of this year’s Junior Golf camp. Rob and Mike do an outstanding job. Thank you for all the coverage that you give. The last two people I would like to acknowledge are Jeff Cotner of Mulligans Pub for helping teach the junior golfers and keeping things running smoothly and Diane Fox for her help in attendance and team jerseys.
“As you can see it takes a small village to run a junior golf camp and I was lucky to have one. Thank you to all and I apologize if I missed mentioning a volunteer.”
Echo Hills G.C.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.