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A Lakes Region Hole in One For Kids

Kathi Caldwell-Hopper - June 4, 2012

A sport that was once thought to be the weekend activity for businessmen and gentlemen of leisure has changed a lot over the years. No longer are golf courses the sacred territory of wealthy men and the spot where business deals are carried out.

Today, golf is for everyone, and no one could be happier about that than the two female golf pros—Kristy Gleason and Heidi Papoosha—at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro.

Children, as well as men and women of all ages, are taking to the sport and finding out just how much fun golfing can be. It combines being outdoors, the chance to get a lot of low impact physical exercise and the joy of competition.

People may be surprised that children are playing golf, but Kingswood pro Heidi Papoosha says, “It’s very easy to teach children to play golf. They have no fear or preconceived ideas about the sport.”

Parents who are looking for something fun and different to offer their children this summer should definitely consider golf lessons for kids. Kingswood Golf Club offers a Junior Golf Camp for ages 7 – 18 and it is a popular choice for giving youngsters the basics of the game. “We have PGA and LPGA lead professionals who are enthusiastic and ready to help juniors reach their goals and have fun,” says Heidi.

Taught by PGA head golf professional, Kristy Gleason and LPGA director of instruction Heidi Papoosha, the two women have over 23 years experience teaching golfers of all ages and skill levels (they have taught AJGA golfers, beginners, intermediate, high school, Div. 1 college athletes, and competitive Amateur Golfers who have competed in USGA events).

The golf camps for children focus on full swing, short game, rules and etiquette. “At the end of each week of golf camp, we have a cookout and golf tournament. It’s a lot of fun for the kids,” Heidi explains. It also gives young golfers a chance to try out their new skills on the golf course in a little competition!

If you are in the Lakes Region for a vacation, you may call the club to set up a private lesson(s) for your children or enroll them in the week-long golf camps taking place from June 18 to early August.

“It isn’t necessary to own golfing equipment,” Heidi continues. “We can provide the equipment for the golf campers.”

At Bolduc Park in Gilford, children ages five to 16 can take advantage of golf lessons in the Junior Golf League. The classes run June 6, 13, 20 and 27; July 11, 18 and 25 and August 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.

Sponsored by the Gilford Parks and Recreation and the Bolduc Park Association, the League teaches young golfers skills on the 9 hole, par 3 course. Golf instructors promote the best aspects of the game: fun, sportsmanship, integrity, and respect for the game and other players. Call 524-1370.

Laconia Country Club on Elm St. in Lakeport offers golf lessons for children, and they feel that golfing is a great sport. A club staffer says it is helpful if those with an interest in golf begin to learn the basis of the sport at a young age. Later on, when youngsters enter high school, they will have a grasp of the game and can move on to school golf teams, which have also become very popular everywhere. Golf clinics begin at the Laconia Country Club in June and they are divided into two groups. Call 524-1274 for information.

Many other golf courses offer children’s golf camps throughout the summer or search online for local golf courses. 

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