South Salt Lake Kids Hit the Links at Golf Camp
Aug 30, 2016 04:40PM
● By Brian Shaw
Jaron Moon hits balls on the driving range at Golf the Round golf course. —Kimberly Roach
Golf is a sport normally reserved for those with a lot of loose change in their pockets. But, in South Salt Lake, a few individuals and companies are trying to change that mindset and make it more accessible to more than just the rich.
Known for being ridiculously expensive once you buy or rent golf clubs and equipment, those paisley knee-high socks and spiky shoes and then rent a golf cart and pay for 18 holes of play, the good folks at Golf in the Round at 3300 South and 700 West have teamed up with the city of South Salt Lake and The First Tee of Utah to provide an annual, affordable, golf camp for kids ages 7 to 18.
The event takes place during the first two weeks in August along the links at Golf in the Round. With the city's Central Valley Water Treatment Facility serving as a backdrop, you might not know that a golf course existed in this part of South Salt Lake.
Well, it most certainly does, and after welcoming over 15 boys and girls to its facility, you would be hard pressed to say that the annual golf camp wasn't another success. After hosting 10 kids last year, the camp continues to grow, according to SSL recreation coordinator Dustin Permann.
First Tee of Utah in partnership with Golf in the Round provided all the equipment and expert know-how while the city helped coordinate the event in order to give the participants a well rounded, yet enjoyable introduction to golf.
“In the camp, we start the kids off by playing with Velcro balls that they hit into plastic targets. Over the two weeks (of camp), we kind of progress to the point where the kids can play real three-hole golf,” said Permann.
The camp was very reasonable for South Salt Lake residents, costing them anywhere from $10 to $25, depending on their financial need. For all involved, the camp meant a lot to not only its participants, but also the folks who helped put it on at a considerable cost.
Perhaps the neatest part of the camp though is the opportunity it provides to those who want to continue playing golf, added Permann.
According to Permann, if the kids fall in love with the sport and want to keep playing after the two-week camp in August, The First Tee will help them to continue to progress through the curriculum.
“Of course, we'll be there along the way to help in any way we can,” Permann said. The curriculum is dependent on age, he added. For example, if they're older they can speed through the curriculum, while younger kids may take longer to learn the game.
So far, one person from the golf camps has taken advantage of the opportunity that The First Tee provides for further learning, and Permann said he'd like to see that continue.
From weekend programming to other more advanced golf camps, The First Tee will fund most of the other curriculum—and once you get into their program there are some smaller fees you pay, Permann added. The nice thing about the program is that The First Tee is really easy to deal with and they'll work with kids and parents interested in furthering their golf career on a needs basis.
“A lot of kids would never have the opportunity to golf if it wasn't for this program,” Permann said. “So we're really grateful to the good folks over at First Tee to provide our community with this opportunity and we hope they'll continue to take advantage of it.”
For more information, contact the SSL recreation department at 801-412-3217.