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The City Journals

Lam trains for US Open at local course

Jul 08, 2019 03:32PM ● By Greg James

The driving range at Fore Lakes is a great place to swing the clubs for the first time or to hone your skills for a major tournament. (Greg James/City Journals)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

Sean Lam stands quietly working alone on his putting game. His father, Dat, is nearby watching his son’s every move. The Skyline freshman was part of last season’s 5A state champion team and spends a lot of his time working on his game at his hometown course, Fore Lakes in Taylorsville.

“The course is not challenging, but it is a great place to practice and work on your game,” Taylorsville resident Dat Lam said. “They keep the greens very good and the grass mowed very good. We come and practice almost every day. To practice here on some things you don’t even need to spend lots of money.”

Dat stands between the courses driving range and putting greens. Several single players hunch over measuring putts, while a group of teenagers laugh as a player shanks a shot on the range nearby.

The course offers programs for all levels of participants. It has a short par 3 and a nine-hole executive course. The par-3 course offers nine holes ranging from 100–180 yards. The executive course has two par-4 holes, a par 5 and six par-3 holes. 

“Better golfers can come out and work on their short irons on the par-3 course,” last season’s course superintendent T.A. Barker said last fall. “A beginner can come, and it is not too intimidating to play the executive course.”

The facility offers a lighted driving range, chipping green and putting green for practice. It offers leagues for men, couples and women. Its Tuesday women’s league was once the largest in the state. In the summer months, there are junior camps that offer instruction and rounds of play. 

“They work with Youth on Course and keep the fees down for the junior golfers,” Lam said. “I think it is like three or four dollars for juniors to play here.”

Youth on Course is a national organization that partners with Fore Lakes to provide youth ages 6 to 18 access to its courses. YOC began in Northern California. It originated as a way to increase accessibility and affordability for youth. To date, the program has subsidized more that 600,000 rounds of golf nationally, hired more than 115 interns and awarded $250,000 in scholarships.

Fore Lakes is a privately owned course located at 1285 W. 4700 South in Taylorsville. It opened for play in 1974. Many local youth players and high school teams use the facility for training.

Sean finished top 10 in last fall’s state tournament and is competing in the regional qualifier for the US Open later this summer. 

“We are crossing our fingers,” Dat said. “It could be a big thing for recruiting. He is competing against all amateurs. It could be a big thing. If he does finish top 10, then colleges would begin to watch him. My daughter Ashley is just as good and might have a good chance.” 

In September, Fore Lakes will host the Brad Asplund Memorial Golf Fundraiser. All proceeds go to families’ needs for Christmas. This year, the fundraiser is scheduled to help military families.