Kandi Comer, PGA Director of Instruction,
Kandi Comer Golf Academy at Glenmore CC
Jamie Fagan, PGA General Manager, Dogwood
Trace Golf Course
Mike Hott, PGA Head Professional, Salisbury CC
Meredith Loosse, PGA Director of Robins Junior
Paul Sargent, PGA Program, Independence GC Director of Golf, First
Tee Chesterfi eld
Adam Smith, PGA Director of Instruction,
Craig Wood, PGA Director of Youth Programs,
First Tee Chesterfi eld
Virginia Golf Report reached out to some of the brightest minds in the central Virginia golf community to talk about junior golf. All of these professionals have been honored and recognized by their peers for their excellence and contributions to the game of golf, and more specifi cally, junior golf. In this issue—Part 2—we discuss the expenses associated with playing junior golf. There is some great cost saving advice from our panel of professionals.
This will be a fi ve part series that will be published in each issue of Virginia Golf Report in 2013. The goal of the article series is to educate the golfi ng public, juniors and their parents, so that everything that can be done to help grow junior golf in central Virginia, is being done.
VGR: LET’S START OUT WITH A GENERAL QUESTION: COMPARED TO OTHER SPORTS THAT KIDS ARE INVOLVED IN, IS GOLF AT THE SAME LEVEL OR IS IT WAY TOO EXPENSIVE?
MEREDITH LOOSSE: When most parents think of golf they think a very high price tag. That is not always true. Starting your children in this game at an early age is about the same price as any other sport that they play. As your child gets older is where you will see the price of the sport go up.
PAUL SARGENT: The “startup”
costs for junior golf are not that much different, and in some cases may be cheaper, than other sports. To get a kid hooked on golf, all you really need is properly weighted junior clubs, which can be purchased for under $40 through companies such as US Kids Golf, and between $5 and $10 for a bucket of range balls.
KANDI COMER: I do feel that the overall cost to play golf can be prohibitive to many golfers, but I also feel it has gotten better over the last several years.
CRAIG WOOD: Golf can be an extremely expensive sport but it’s like a lot of other hobbies and ventures, it depends upon how involved and how much you want or have to spend.
32Virginia Golf Report • Spring 2013
VGR - OKAY, LET’S TRY TO TOUCH ON EACH ASPECT OF EXPENSE. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU DO TO MAKE INSTRUCTION MORE AFFORDABLE?
MEREDITH LOOSSE: If your child is just starting out in golf most golf courses or clubs offer junior clinics and camps. At Independence we have the Robins Junior Golf Program which offers spring and fall clinics and three different types of summer camps. We offer scholarships to children who cannot fi nancially pay for the classes.
KANDI COMER: Private instruction can be costly. I encourage most juniors to do the group clinics and camps, which can be very reasonable and the kids can learn the basic fundamentals of the game along with having a lot of fun. If I have a junior that has a real passion for the game of golf and that junior works really hard, I will make sure he or she gets the help they need. I will fi nd a sponsor for their lessons or I will donate my time. I really want every golfer to have an opportunity to play the game
ADAM SMITH: As a PGA golf instructor, it is our duty to offer fi rst class golf instruction at an affordable price. That is why I offer a discounted rate for our junior golf instruction. Juniors
are taught at half the adult rate. Golf is expensive, but golf instruction for kids does not have to be. That is our motto at Salisbury Country Club.
VGR - WHAT ABOUT EQUIPMENT?
CRAIG WOOD: Most times a junior golfer can borrow clubs to practice or hit at the range. There are many opportunities to buy decent golf equipment from second hand stores or from eBay, etc. We receive many club donations from generous people every year and give away a large number of sets and individual clubs.
KANDI COMER: Equipment can be expensive but I know we recycle junior clubs in an equipment swap each year. It is my goal once a year for everyone to bring old equipment that kids have outgrown and try to swap with clubs that now fi t. Everyone has a lot of clubs in their garage and this is a great way to help
kids get equipment that fi ts them.
ADAM SMITH: As for affordable equipment, at Salisbury we recommend US Kids Golf equipment as it is affordable while at the same time high quality. We see great results and we satisfy budget conscious parents.
VGR -WHAT ABOUT THE EXPENSE OF PLAYING? ARE FACILITIES STEPPING UP AND MAKING IT AFFORDABLE FOR JUNIOR GOLFERS? ARE THERE MEMBERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR JUNIORS AT FACILITIES?
MEREDITH LOOSSE: One thing that we do at Independence Golf Club is offer a rate of $5 for juniors to play our “Short Course.” If the junior is accompanied by an adult the price is only $1 per junior. The adult fees are only $15. Our junior membership is $500 and includes unlimited play during the week, unlimited use of the practice
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