Free summer golf clinics available for youth

Published 12:04 am Thursday, May 28, 2009

NATCHEZ — Children will be able to hit the links this summer for no charge thanks to a donation to the Duncan Park Golf Club.

Several junior golf academy’s are planned this summer at Duncan Park, and golf director Greg Brooking said they are all free.

“Kids don’t have to have clubs or balls, just supervision by their parents,” Brooking said. “This is about real golf, learning manners, etiquette and the gentlemanship of the game. It’s the whole program.”

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Brooking said learning to play golf has many added benefits other than just swinging a club.

“Golf is a great character builder,” Brooking said. “There is etiquette taught in the game. You don’t see golfers chunking their clubs. It’s a gentlemanly game.”

Brooking said its important that kids take advantage of the free clinics because of a dearth of young people that are currently out on the course.

“When you go to the course these days, it’s devoid of children,” Brooking said. “If that keeps happening, one day there will be no golfers. We want the junior golfers and their parents to know that this program is available to them free of charge.”

Brooking said that children from the Natchez Children’s Home have come out to the course to learn the game and have had a blast.

“The kids were so happy to be on the golf course,” he said. “It was a joy to see. We don’t want to see any kids not have the opportunity to do this.”

There is also a fund set up that locals can donate to in order to support more youth golf programs.

“Anyone in Natchez can donate to this fund tax free,” Brooking said. “The more funds there are, the more programs we can present to the public free of charge.”

There are four different camps at the summer’s Norman Puckett Junior Golf Academy.

The camps take place each Monday in June.

The camp for ages 9-12 takes place from 9 to 10 a.m. and the camp for ages 13-17 takes place from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The camp is free but there is a $5 cash registration deposit. However, that money is refunded if the child shows up for the camp.

Brooking said only three children have signed up for the camp so far, and he wants to see many more.

“We are giving this away to children who desire to play the game,” Brooking said. “This can be as big as the community wants.”