Golf clinic puts youth on course

Sporting his new Yampa Valley Golf Course hat, Coltin Bebensee explained his favorite parts of the golf camp he's attending this week at Yampa Valley Golf Course.

"It's all fun," he said. "But I like winning the prizes. I won this hat by hitting the ball while being on my knees."

YVGC pro Tom Dockstader and the Yampa Valley Junior Golf Association hosted a camp this week for 5- to 17-year-olds. This summer's camp attracted 80 golfers, which Dockstader said was an average number for the turnout for the past several years.

An increase Dockstader has seen is the number of girls participating.

"We've had about 15 girls in the past," he said. "This year, we have around 35 girls."

A good sign for one of the Moffat County High School girls golf coach.

One of Dockstader's former athletes, Laura Duran, now helps with the clinic. She says she can remember when she attended the camp.

"I've been out there learning to golf in the past," she said. "It's nice to be able to pass that on to the next generation of golfers."

Duran is among seven other helpers in the camp who are either in high school or college.

"The more help I get, the more I can roam to all the golfers," Dockstader said.

It also allows for the more experienced golfers to get individual help at the camp. For instance, C.J. Rugh, who just finished his sophomore year golfing in college, was assigned to help some of the high school golfers at the camp.

The younger age groups aren't as concerned about individual help.

"I like being outside and spending time with my friends," Bebensee said. "If I weren't out here, I'd probably be at home watching television."

Mark Dockstader grew up spending the summers on the golf course with his dad, so being at the camp wasn't anything new, but it's still fun.

"Sometimes when my mom was gone, my dad would take me to the course when I was really young," he said. "I like the camp because we get to work on our swing a lot."

The swing itself posed a challenge to the younger golfers.

"I have a hard time not looking up when I hit the ball," Bebensee said. "I want to see where the ball was hit and I can't do that too soon or I'll miss it."

"The whole swing is hard," Mark Dockstader said. "You just have to come back and improve everyday."

It isn't all easy for the instructors either.

"It's hard to teach the golf swing," said MCHS junior Jared Lowther. "I try not to think about my swing too much, so that makes it hard to break someone else's down."

Lowther has one more day to figure out the campers' swings and Bebensee one more session to try to win more prizes as the camp ends Friday.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com.

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