The Fernie Golf Club ran a program this spring to help cultivate the next generation of golfers.
The Junior Golf Program for students from Isabella Dicken and Fernie Secondary School ran from early May to mid-June, according to club teacher Ben Rolph.
Rolph, an assistant professional with the Fernie Golf Club, said he taught about three lessons per class for students from grades three to nine.
“I think it went really, really well,” he said.
“(They were) just some simple lessons, trying to teach the kids basics of golf, and how to hit the ball, and just have some fun trying to do it.”
The kids got the chance to hit the driving range as well as practice their short game and putting.
Rolph said he taught about 400 children throughout the duration of the program, which was free for the kids.
“It’s very important for our members, they really want to push having new juniors join the club.”
Rolph spoke to the etiquette and discipline that golf can help to instil.
He said it teaches that there is a time to be focused and a time to have fun, and that etiquette in golf is different from other sports as it is self-governed.
“It teaches a lot of kids very good discipline to learn actually, do you know what, the only thing that’s ever going to affect me is something that I’ve done myself.”
Rolph said golf is often thought of as a sport for older people.
“But it’s really not,” he said.
“It’s a great thing that families can do together.”
He said he was grateful to the Fernie Golf Club for providing the space for the program, adding that it’s a community-based club.
“It’s a community space that they can come and safely play a different sport and try something new.”
It was the second year that Rolph has taught the program at the club, and he said it was nice to see students and teachers coming back.
“I got to see them and see a little bit of an improvement, a little bit of change, and a few of them can remember what I taught them a little bit last year, which is great.”
“I’m hoping that it’s going to get just a little bit bigger and ill have a little bit more time to reach out and try to help out a few of the other school as well in town,” Rolph said.
Anne Majic, who sits on the junior golf committee supporting the program since its inception 12 years ago, said they could not have offered it without their sponsors.
“Love, love, love to see the kids enjoying wonderful facilities in our community.”