Junior Golf Programs End Successful Season
October 3, 2015
Ocean Pines Golf & Country Club is wrapping up the golf season having had more junior golfers participate in its programs than in any other season in recent history.
Approximately 120 young golfers participated in the course's clinics and summer camps. The last program of the year, a fall clinic, will end on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
These numbers represent a marked change in participation: Three years ago, the junior golf program at Ocean Pines Golf & Country Club was practically nonexistent.
PGA Director of Golf John Malinowski, who assumed the position at Ocean Pines in November 2012, changed the way junior programs were conducted. "Before I arrived there was one camp or clinic in the summer. We added weekly clinics in the spring and the fall as well as extra week-long camps in the summer," Malinowski said.
The camps have proven especially popular. This past summer, Ocean Pines offered four separate camps, two of which had waiting lists.
Malinowski said, "The professional staff tried to show kids how much fun it can be to play a difficult game. We offered games and contests and tried to get them on the course to play as much as possible during the week. The dedication and attitudes of the staff have really helped to grow the program."
Word of mouth has also contributed to the rise in participation. Many children sign up for more than one camp or clinic, and new participants have often been referred by satisfied family members and friends.
Participants are also eager to return to the course after the programs are over. "It's been fun to see a shift in the usage of the practice facilities at the golf course after the camps. The kids are coming back to practice and sometimes play with their parents. I feel like they get a sense that they belong here and that's good for the growth of the game and securing the future of golf," Malinowski said.
Ocean Pines Golf & Country Club, which is open to the public, also offers special junior golf memberships, and Malinowski gives private junior lessons at discounted rates.
Ocean Pines Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole championship golf course and the only one on Maryland's Eastern Shore designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. It is open to the public year-round and is also available for outings and tournaments. More information is available at OceanPinesGolf.org or by calling 410-641-6057.