Why is it that so many people in America love golf? Is it the escape? The tradition? The ambiance? The quality time spent with family and friends? Sure, you can say all of the above. But one of the main reasons, in my mind, why nearly 30 million people in the United States love to play the sport is because of the ethical lessons and values it teaches us, encouraging us to become upstanding members of society. It may sound clichÃ©, but golf is more than just a game. It's a way of life. It's a sport that our nation's youth should begin learning to play at a young age.
Many courses in the Orange County area have taken note of this concept and have implemented a variety of youth golf programs that kids and teens can take advantage of. With that, I give you a list of some of the top youth programs Orange County has to offer:
Black Gold Junior Golf Academy
Black Gold is one of the many hosts of the PGA Tour Academy, which takes in nearly 40 different locations across the country. Headed by 1993 PGA Teacher of the Year, Steve Soule, the Black Gold Junior Golf Academy teaches juniors about the game in a fun and safe environment. With a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio, participants are sure to get individualized attention that will enhance their game.
Oak Creek Golf Academy
During the summer time, there is no better place to enhance your golf game than at Oak Creek. Designed for juniors of all skill sets, the Oak Creek Golf Academy offers half-day camps, three-day camps and weekly clinics teaching students the fundamentals of the sport. With a teacher like Ish Gonzalez and a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, kids and teens will be able to elevate their game to the next level.
Orange County Golf Academy
Four days per week, the River View Golf Academy at" River View Golf Course in Santa Ana provides a personal training approach in teaching juniors about the rules and basics of the game. With a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, each participant has the opportunity of enhancing his or her short game, golf swing and putting. The dynamic duo of teaching instructors Charmaine Summers and PGA Pro, Andy Gaither, juniors ages 4-17 will have the proper guidance in setting a solid foundation for their game.
Junior Golf Clinics at Pelican Hill
The Junior Golf Clinics at Pelican Hill offers juniors, ages 7-13, the opportunity to participate in several camps that take place in both the winter and summer months. With Glenn Deck being the primary instructor here, students will get advice and tips on their swings, short games, putting, and -- most importantly -- etiquette.
The Golf School of Tustin Ranch
Divided into four skill levels for golfers ages 6-17, the" junior program at Tustin Ranch has been awarded excellence in teaching on 10 different occasions over the past several years. Whether you are just learning the basics or looking to make improvements in your game, Tustin Ranch has the program designed to make you a better overall golfer.
Do you have a favorite youth golf program in Orange County that isn't on our list? Let us know in the comments section below!