GROTON -- With the summer golf season in full swing, Groton Country club golf pro Jim Tennant has announced that the course will offer clinics to youth players from across the surrounding communities. Golfers will participate in a full week of golf drills, games and even fitness and nutrition training. Tennant has a background in developing youth golfers at his previous jobs in Connecticut and on Cape Cod.
"We are trying to teach your general golf etiquette," Tennant said. "Some of the different things that we do is every kid who comes to camp gets a couple clubs to take home with them. I don't think you can effectively teach kids how to play golf without sending them home with something to practice with."
The Groton Country Club will host five camps run over the course of the month of July and the first week August for $250. Lunch is included in the fee.
Tennant is hopeful that by teaching kids how to play golf, more families will become involved with visiting the Groton Country Club.
"Kids who come to the camp get to play for free on Saturdays throughout the summer," Tennant said. "That goes with the access. To teach kids how to play golf and not give kids access to the course -- you're not going the hole nine yards in promoting the game. Our camp has some teachers that are involved. Fitness professionals and a nurse are all helping out with the camp. We want the parents to have piece of mind.
Camp participants will be faced with obstacles such as water hazards in the form of kiddy pools and other challenging shots. The kids will compete against one another in friendly challenges. At the end of each day of camp, a winner of the day is crowned with the top golfer receiving a player of the day shirt.
"At my previous job, we had kids from 30 miles away come to our camp," Tennant said. "Other course professionals were wondering why kids were leaving their clubs for ours. There is a lot of thought behind it. It is not built for profit -- it's built for that generation to fall in love with the game."
The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. , but it will be broken up into 10-15 increments. Tennant's goal is not to overwhelm the young golfers with the nuances of the game, but to teach them how fun and rewarding it can be.
"The day goes by pretty fast," Tennant said. "The kids will be moving from station to station and most importantly, they will be having fun. Even the kids who started off not knowing what to expect, they can come out and continue to play. Our theory is not to turn a kid away. We will bring in extra staff to accommodate the number of participants. What we noticed in Connecticut when we picked up the paper was all of the kids who came through our camp medaling at their high school matches. Whether it is the Groton kid or the Westford kid, you recognize all the names."