St. Croix Valley area golf courses attempt to draw more children to the sport.
Golf is a game that teaches sportsmanship and responsibility. “You can’t blame anybody else,” PGA professional at Oak Glen Golf Course Andrew Gerber says. “It’s your game.” We found some great ways golf courses in the area are drawing children to their sport.
Stillwater Country Club
Stillwater Country Club offers a wide variety of options for children and teens this summer. Their Junior Golf Camp allows children to learn golf skills through a 10-step program. Paired with their specific age group, they can learn at a pace right for them. They offer a children’s night out, which allows parents to drop their kids off at the driving range for a few hours. They also have a great membership plan for youth as well. “If your parents are not a member, it doesn’t matter,” PGA professional Nick Haag says. “You can still join if you’re 12 to 17 years old for $200 a year.” With playing times for just kids running seven days a week, your child will have time to perfect their golf skills.
Royal Golf Club
Royal Golf Club has gone the extra mile and built a golf course just for juniors. “For juniors, specifically, we built a six-hole, par three course, which we’re very proud to say is available to juniors under the age of 18 for no charge,” PGA professional Jim Leary says. If your child doesn’t have their own golf club, the club will provide one. They also provide tees on their 18-hole golf course specifically for junior golfers. “Our shortest set of tees for people who are getting into golf will be at 4,100 yards, which is considerably less than most adult yardages,” Leary says. Introduction memberships for junior golfers are priced at only $150 a year, whether their parents are members or not.
Oak Glen Golf Course
Oak Glen Golf Course gives juniors from age 4 to college age many opportunities to learn the sport. They offer eight different programs for juniors starting with SNAG golf, where children work with big targets and tennis balls instead of golf balls. As your child improves, they have programs where kids learn the skills of golf and eventually get out on the green. “We use our executive course for our juniors,” PGA professional Andrew Gerber says. “So basically the eight-weeks that we run our junior programs, our executive course is just for the kids.” Juniors are encouraged to play the executive course for free during those eight weeks. “If they want to come back out with their mom or dad at night or on the weekends, those kids can come out and they can play for free,” Gerber says. If they want to add a membership for the whole season, it is priced at $50.
White Eagle Golf Club
White Eagle Golf Club has a six-week program allowing children to learn more about the game itself, etiquette and techniques to improve their golfing. Separating by age and ability, they give your child the opportunity to learn through a fun program. “At the end of the program, everyone gets a certificate to come back and bring a parent with them and go play 18 holes,” PGA professional Scott Landin says. They also offer discounted rates for juniors with a paid adult and have several days a year where juniors are free with a paid adult.
StoneRidge Golf Club
StoneRidge Golf Club introduces children to golf through many different options. They offer four-day clinics, which introduces children on how to swing, introduces them to the facility and gives them the basics of the game. They group ages 5–8 together and 9–12 together. They also have something called a PGA junior Gold League (U13 and U16). “We try to have some youth around our area at our facility too, kids who really like to hang out at the golf course, and we’ll try to support them to get as good as they can at this game,” PGA professional Mark Hetland says. They also host local high school team games at their course.