Northern Pines set to host jr. golf camp next week

Organizers hope for increased participation for second annual golf camp open to youth aged six to 14.

Organizers with the Northern Pines Golf Course’s Junior Golf Summer Camp are hoping for an improved turn out when the program opens on Monday.

The Brandon golf facility is hosting its second annual, week-long golf camp for youth aged six to 14 from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17. The schedule will include four hours of instruction per day through Thursday, then winds up with a round of nine holes and a barbecue on Friday.

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“We’re hoping for a minimum of 20 kids, but it would be nice to see 24,” said Canadian Professional Golf Association pro and the clinic’s head instructor Dave Scinocca. “We are half filled (as of Aug. 3). I’d like to run a few more of these, but it’s hard to find the time that works for everyone. There are a lot of hockey camps going on, then there’s baseball, the Tamarack (Golf Tournament at Riding Mountain National Park) and other sports, so if we can get 20 to 24 kids, we’ll be happy with that.”

Scinocca noted that he runs a junior golf program in the spring and another in July, which have seen some success. The summer camp is a spin-off from those initiatives. He said the Northern Pines facility provides a great venue to host a junior camp. It’s short and easy to play.

The camp is open to youth of all skill levels. It provides lessons in everything from the fundamentals of the game – including putting, chipping and the full swing – basic rules and etiquette, plenty of driving range time, and various games and activities throughout the week.

“We’re looking for kids with some experience in the game from before that have either gone for pro lessons or at least have had a chance to be introduced to the game,” Scinocca said. “There are three other instructors running this with me, so we’ll split the kids up based on their skill level, not necessarily their age.”

The sport of golf has fallen down the priority list for teenagers, but youth aged six to 12 have strong numbers of participants, the Shilo Country Club golf pro said. Scinocca suggested that other sports, like hockey, get more attention once the kids turn 13 or 14.

“That’s why I’m hoping to get as many kids in that age range (six to 12) to play the game into adulthood,” he said. “It’s a challenge with any sport, I think. The numbers seem to peter off as they get older. With golf being a life-long sport, if we can get them interested at a young age and enjoying it, we hope they continue for a lifetime. We see some kids take a break from golf, then come back in their 20s and 30s because they see other friends playing or they need to play for business purposes.”

For more information about the Junior Golf Summer Camp at Northern Pines Golf Course, call the facility’s pro shop at (204) 728-6967 or email the camp’s organizers at info@golfbrandon.com.

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