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Elkford’s junior golf program tees off

Mountain Meadows Golf Course welcomes Elkford youth to learn how to play golf
Thomas Skelton teaches kids Riley Paton, Joni Tobin and Brooke Ingham how to play golf. Photo Submitted

Elkford’s Mountain Meadows Golf Club is officially kicking off their summer junior golf program on July 4 and 5.

In its second year of operation, the program strives to introduce children aged four to 18 to the sport of golf. According to coach Thomas Skelton, a former World Golf Teachers Federation Top 100 Golf Teacher, lessons take attendees through the basic fundamentals of golf swings, all the way through to more specific individual training.

Despite a successful previous season with 55 eager participants, COVID-19 required the program to alter operations. This year, to account for distancing measures, class sizes will be limited to four kids per group, separated according to age.

Though the program is still in its grassroots phase, Skelton’s long term vision is to garner enough local interest to put together a junior team, in the hopes of playing against other golf courses throughout the Elk Valley and eventually Western Canada. While at the moment there are no competitive players in Elkford, Skelton is happy to see several children expressing interest in entering tournaments this upcoming year, and is hoping the program will encourage that number to continue growing.

“The sport of golf was really beneficial to me growing up,” said Skelton. “This program gives kids an opportunity to get active while learning to love a life long game that they can continue to enjoy playing well into being adults.”

Mountain Meadows’ junior golf program is currently operating on a donation basis, with all proceeds being reinvested back into the golf club and their programming. Skelton hopes to run the program most weekends throughout the summer, however the frequency of classes will depend on interest, with upcoming dates to be released soon.

Skelton also assists in running golf programs through both Elkford Elementary School and Elkford Secondary School, further encouraging the youth of Elkford to find a passion in golf. Though the Mountain Meadows junior golf program runs independently of the schools, many Elkford youth are members of both clubs.

Mountain Meadows’ president, Bill Macdonald, and manager, Stacie Vandergrift-Dixon, encourage any kids interested in learning more about golf to make it out to the golf course this summer. For more information or to sign up for the junior golf program, visit the Mountain Meadows Facebook page, or call the golf course at 250-865-7431.

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Blaine Rideout practices his golf swing. Photo Submitted
Youngster Amelia Skelton learns how to play golf. Photo Submitted