By Rob Kiser
Echo Hills PGA Professional Chip Fox made a decision to change his junior golf camp this season.
One that will make 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.
“It is something the PGA is encouraging,” Fox said. “A lot of places are going to a Junior League, which is a travel league and golf courses compete against each other. I am going to use it as my junior camp. I think it is going to be a lot more fun for the kids.”
It is still important to teach the kids the etiquette of the game and how to conduct themselves on the golf course and familiarizing themselves with the rules — which is what the first three weeks will be used for.
“It not only benefits them, but anybody who plays behind them as well,” Fox said.
The four teams will be divided as follows:
Captain — Nate Uhlenbrock
Drake Widney, Levi Marcum, Jon Steiner, Devon Sever, Grant Humphrey, Cassidy Clark, Ben Huber, Colten Beougher, Allana Darner, Bryce Phillipps, Quintin Bachman.
Coaches — Joe Slusher, Andrew Slusher.
Captain — Derek McCool
Christian Starrett, Brandon Sever, Weston Stahl, Dylon Sever, Brady Evans, Andrew Rose, Tokota Jackson, James Larger, Matthew Galbreath, Aiden Campbell, Colton Rittenhouse, William Bollinger.
Coaches — Marty Jackson, Mike Lavey
Captain — Kelsey Bachman
Jarred Gullett, Mason Darner, Andrew Grunkemeyer, Collin Moore, Zane Wise, Ben Romey, Jackson Elliott, Addison Huber, Xander Foster, Drew Hinkle, Jacob Felts, Reagon Steiner.
Coaches — Doug Harter, Kyle Ingle.
Captain — Skyler Sloan
Jackson Huelskamp, Nick Swank, Zane Beougher, David McCool, Kameron Darner, Evan Hensler, Max King, Hayden Sever, Aiden Webster, Tate Kuhlman, Conner Humphrey, Caleb Hembree.
Coaches — Ron Schultz, Andy Johnson
The Ryder Cup matches format will be two-person scramble teams.
The matches will be up to nine holes and the kids will tee off from locations that fit their skill level.
“It is about making it fun for the kids,” Fox said. “I think they are really going to like this.”
Each player will receive a team jersey to wear, with a number.
“I want them to get the experience of playing on a team,” Fox said.
Every three holes, a flag will be awarded to the winning team for those three holes. Each player will receive a bag tag and will receive stickers they can put on back of the bag tag for every flag they receive.
“There will be three matches within every match,” Fox said. “Just like with the Ryder Cup, at the end of the three weeks — the team with the most points will be the winner.”
Which — in the end — we all will be if it creates more interest in the game of golf among the area youth.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.