Park District golf program all FORE! the kids

Park District golf program  all FORE! the kids

These youngsters honed their golf skills by participating in the Holmes County Park District golf program this summer, finishing up their experience by playing the final day with their parents.


For many participants in the annual summer Holmes County Park District golf program, stepping on to the tee for the first time can be a daunting experience, having never swung a club and not knowing exactly how to play the game.

However, with some advice from local high school golfers and weeks of practice, by the end the kids have gained insight into the game and plenty of confidence, which they can put to good use if they continue to play the game.

According to Jen Halverson, Holmes County Park District director, a dozen youth participated in the summer classes, and from what she saw, there were plenty of reasons to celebrate a successful six-week program.

“It was a huge success on a number of different levels,” Halverson said. “We saw some really nice improvements in the kids’ play over the six weeks. We had some kids who hadn’t played before, and it was pretty tough the first week or two, but by the end they had improved so much, it was great to see them really catching on and finding success.”

Another exciting part of the program was watching the way the kids stepped up in the area of sportsmanship. Halverson said the kids were constantly encouraging one another with high-fives and words of encouragement. She said learning that part of the game is every bit as important as learning to fine-tune their swings.

“It was really neat to see the kids being so supportive of one another,” Halverson said. “They were so supportive of each other regardless of how they were doing themselves. It was very refreshing to watch.”

A third benefit was having area talent from West Holmes and Hiland high schools come in and work with the youngsters. The members of the two area high school teams were more than happy to dole out advice and proper techniques to the kids, and Halverson said their input was extremely valuable to the overall success of the program.

“It really worked out well for both the kids and the high school teachers because the kids got to benefit from their wisdom and experience and it gave the high school players a chance to develop in leadership and teaching roles,” Halverson said. “I know the kids really appreciated their opinions and expertise, and hopefully it helped the high school players grow too.”

The youngsters met every Tuesday afternoon at Fire Ridge Golf Course in Millersburg, which opened its course to the blossoming young players. On the final day of the program, parents were invited to play along with the kids, getting to experience firsthand the progress the youth made in their games.

“It was a fun way to wrap up the program for the summer, and hopefully we will see the kids and their parents continue to work on their games,” Halverson said.

As for future programs at the Park District, Halverson said because of the lingering questions surrounding what schools will face with COVID-19, future programs remain up in the air.

“We live in a very fluid world right now, and since we are so closely connected to the schools, we are just going to wait and see how things progress before bringing in any new programs,” Halverson said. “This was nice because we could contain everything outdoors in the middle of summer. As we prepare for school, we will continue to work to find ways to keep kids involved.”

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