Haymaker's junior golf programs set to tee-off

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Playing camps, instructional clinics and junior tournaments will bring plenty of youth golfing opportunities to Haymaker Golf Course this summer.

Haymaker opened the junior season May 14 with the first of three introductory clinics. The final one will take place Saturday, and junior golf director Nina Krats said the series will conclude on a light note, with players taking part in a variety of skills contests at the public course.

The event, which is designed to let young golfers use the skills they've learned, will take place from noon to 2 p.m. for children ages 6 to 8. Golfers ages 9 to 18 will compete from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Although the introductory clinics are wrapping up, the junior golf programs at Haymaker are just beginning.

The course now will move into instructional clinics designed to fine-tune juniors' skills so that they can become proficient on the golf course. The instructional clinics also will educate young golfers about etiquette and rules of the game.

The four, two-hour sessions are designed as a series of classes that help young players with a variety of golfing skills. The cost is $30 a session, and sessions are limited to the first 30 juniors who sign up. The sessions will be split into age groups, including the Little Chippers for golfers ages 4 and 5, a group for golfers ages 6 to 8 and a group for golfers ageds 9 to 18.

The first session, June 13, will cover full swing irons, putting and chipping. The second session, June 27, will continue with full swing woods, pitching and bunker shots. On July 11, the clinics will cover full swing irons and woods, chipping and putting. The final clinic, July 25, will bring the sessions to a close with a skills challenge.

"It provides an opportunity for juniors to chart their own overall improvement in full swing and short game and also test their skills against other juniors," Krats said.

Haymaker also will offer a four-day playing camp from July 18 to 21.

The playing camp is designed to take the skills learned in the introductory and instructional clinics and other comparable junior programs and apply them on the golf course. Golfers will take part in three-hour sessions that will focus on strategy, course management and etiquette. The week will finish with a playing camp tournament, followed by an awards luncheon. The cost is $150.

Haymaker also will offer junior play days on select Tuesdays. The play days are scheduled for June 14, June 28, July 12 and July 26.

"The plan is to get out early on Tuesday mornings, so that the kids can get out and play against their peers," Krats said.

The play days will give the young golfers an opportunity to apply their skills on the course. The program offers 5-hole, 7-hole and 9-hole groupings that will be determined by golfers' ages and abilities.

Play days are limited to 25 golfers, with a 7:30 a.m. tee time.

Golfers should contact Krats a week in advance, so that she can line up tee times and set up the groups. Parent volunteers are welcome, and juniors must have their own clubs to participate.

The highlight for juniors this summer will be the Haymaker Junior Golf Championships. The tournament, which will take place Aug. 2, is open to all juniors (ages 4 to 18) participating in a junior golf program at any of the area courses. There also will be a parent junior golf tournament Aug. 14, during which parents are invited to join their children on the golf course.

The Colorado Junior Golf Association also will host the Haywhacker golf tournament June 15 and 16 for qualified junior golfers across Colorado.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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