Tuesday marked the first day of the Waterville Junior Free Golf Clinic, which will be held every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. through June 24, for ages 6-14.
While the junior golfers must bring their own clubs, the clinic itself is entirely free.
“They are learning the fundamentals of golf. We’re just trying to teach them to have fun and enjoy it,” clinic instructor Steven Rogers said.
The clinics in the area follow in the footsteps of the late Bill “Chief” Robertson, who first began a free junior golf clinic some 30 years ago. Rogers himself participated in that clinic as a child.
Tuesday’s first clinic began with a group of 23 children split into three different groups.
The three groups rotated through different golf practice drills, taking time to work on driving, putting and chipping.
“I’ll go over a few basics with them like how to align a shot properly and stuff like that, but nothing drastic. We’re just trying to help the kids, and hope it grows,” Rogers stated.
For Mary Jo Scoggins, who was at Waterville to observe granddaughters’ Allie and Ainsley Oliver in the clinic, the free junior programs put on by the local golf courses are extremely beneficial.
“Their (Allie and Ainsley’s) mother started out like this, and got a full to scholarship to Tennessee Tech. It’s very beneficial and we appreciate everyone’s help because you never know where they’re going to end up. (Golf) can take you to many places,” Scoggins explained. “This is a very good start. Golf teaches the kids patience, discipline, good sportsmanship and how to get along with others.”
All of the free Tuesday clinics will be open to new participants every week.