The junior golf program at the Links is growing.
Twenty youngsters participated in the fourth annual PGA Junior League from April through July. Ten went on to form the all-star team that competed against 10 other teams from Alabama and Florida, Aug. 10 at the Bent Brook Golf Course in Birmingham.
“I was real proud of the outcome,” coach Matt Williams, assistant golf professional at the Links, said. “I feel next year we’ll do even better. I think we’re two years away from winning it. I think it’s very possible.”
Redstone placed ninth among the 11 teams, just five shots from finishing in the top six.
Williams plans to start a fall program which will begin in late September and continue through mid-November. Those interested should call him at the Links at 842-7977.
The junior league is for ages 7-13, boys and girls. It’s a developmental program designed to help youngsters learn how to play golf in a team setting.
“It’s a good program for beginners all the way up to the advanced player,” Williams said.
The youngsters learn how the game is played and how to take care of the golf course. Sessions are typically held twice each week; one practice and one match are played weekly. This usually happens Sunday afternoon and late afternoon Monday.
“It’s a great program as far as getting kids involved in golf,” Williams said. “Really it’s a good way to see if they’ll enjoy the game without putting pressure on them because it’s a team (scramble competition).”
Some of the youngsters have been playing three or four years and developed to join their high school teams as seventh- and eighth-graders.
“It went really well. Kids learned a lot,” Williams said of this year’s program. “Saw several kids who’d never played before and really developed throughout the year.”
He expects the fall league will help sustain their interest. And he hopes to have 40 youngsters next spring and summer.