Putting fun in golf for kids

Sue Burns from Worthington Golf Course is trying to bridge the gap between the youth of today and future golfers, so she has enlisted the services of area golfers to assist with an event entitled ‘Worthington’s first annual golf and fun day.’

The idea coincides with the West Virginia Golf Association’s First Tee program where instructors are given tools to help make learning the game of golf enjoyable for the younger generation.

The event, which welcomes any boy or girl ages 5-15, is scheduled for Saturday, May 24 at Worthington Golf Course and lasts from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The $10 registration fee includes lunch.

“I remember seeing the little kids at the Masters, and I thought we need to do something to bring kids together and have fun learning the game of golf,” Burns said.

Parkersburg Catholic High School golf coach Dick Wildt is meeting with officials from the WVGA in Charleston in hopes of borrowing equipment geared to generate interest.

“The PGA and USGA are really concerned about the lack of participation from young people,” Wildt said. “We want to do our part here locally, so the WVGA is going to provide us with all kinds of games and stuff for kids to play with.

“The WVGA will loan us whatever so we can try and make it fun.”

Burns has covered her bases in terms of volunteers.

Two in particular are Sue Goldcamp and Norma Yeardley. Goldcamp is the defending champion of the West Virginia Women’s Senior Amateur.

“When Sue (Burns) called me about it, I thought this was a great idea,” said Goldcamp. “I think this is a great opportunity for kids to come out and learn the basics. There will be a lot of fun stations as well.

“We’re trying to get more kids involved. Numbers state-wide and country-wide are down. A lot of them don’t have the opportunity to play a lot. Equipment is not cheap, so we’re keeping the price cheap for the whole day.”

Another individual who agreed to assist without hesitation was Yeardley, who is a former schoolteacher and has been a member of the Worthington Women’s Golf Association for 33 years. She continues to stay involved as a member of a Monday night golf league.

“I would do anything for the love of the game of golf,” Yeardley said. “My husband (Jay) taught me what I know. Golf is a wonderful sport and I want to help children in any way I can.”

During her combined 10 years of teaching in Williamstown and Parkersburg, Yeardley spent time educating high school and junior high students. Working with an even younger age group with the game of golf should be an easy transition.

“Anything Sue needs, I am willing to help with,” Yeardley said. “I would love to help kids get started with golf.”

Contact Kerry Patrick at kpatrick@newsandsentinel.com