Colusa Golf & Country Club had 103 kids sign up for its annual Free Junior Golf Clinic this year, which was held last week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. While only 91 ended up coming out for the clinic, it was still the largest turnout in the event’s history.
In years past, the event could be expected to draw between 50 and 60 attendees. Organizers described the 87 kids who attended the event last year as an “exceptional” number, but after this year’s clinic, it’s looking as if around 100 kids will be the new norm.
“This has really grown in the time that I have been participating in it,” said John Loudon, a Colusa Golf & Country Club member who has volunteered for the clinic for the fourth straight year.
The Free Junior Golf Clinic is under the direction of and sponsored by Colusa Rotary and Iles Academy of Golf for Kids. Members of the golf club, such as Loudon, play an important role in the event by volunteering their time to help teach kids from ages 7 to 17 the basics of the game.
“The members who volunteer, they’re really what’s behind this,” PGA Golf Professional Rick Burgess said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do this.”
Loudon continues to volunteer his time for the clinic because he believes it is his duty as a member to ensure the viability of the club in the long run. The best way to do that is to introduce the next generation to the game of golf, Loudon said.
“Not only for this golf course, but for the game to thrive, we need to continue teaching the game to these kids,” Loudon said. “Also, there’s not a lot for kids to do around Colusa. In my opinion, getting the kids out there on the golf course keeps them out of trouble during the summer break. It’s a great event, and it’s free for the parents and the junior golfers.”
The most rewarding part of the experience for Loudon is seeing the kids react to every well-struck shot.
“Every time one of the kids makes good contact with the ball, you can see them just light up,” he said. ■
2017 Drive, Chip, Putt Results
Age 7: 1st Daniel Heidrick, 2nd Lucas Bowen, 3rd Wyatt Aaberg
Age 8: 1st Ryan Perez, 2nd Peyton Miller, 3rd Rowdy Davidson
Age 9: 1st Quinn Monroe, 2nd Chloe Gonzales, 3rd Cade Smith
Age 10: 1st Delani Davidson, 2nd David Heidrick, 3rd Jace MacKaben
Age 11: 1st Peyton Humphrey, 2nd Landon Humphrey, 3rd Seth Kalisuch
Age 12: 1st Cierra Zoller, 2nd Clayton Book, 3rd Joshua Garcia
Age 13: 1st Madison Reister, 2nd Kenneth Tang, 3rd Robert Fantl
Age 14-17: 1st Thomas Heidrick, 2nd Cole Ruiz, 3rd Candyce Magenheimer