Youth golf coming to Yampa Valley Golf Course

— New Yampa Valley Golf Course head pro David Hardison has always enjoyed working with children, so he decided to introduce a new summer-long golf program for kids in Moffat County.

It’s called Yampa Valley Junior Golf, and it will be held once a week from June 11 through Aug. 13. The goal is to teach local kids the ins and outs of golf alongside life lessons as part of the Professional Golf Association program called The First Tee.

“I’m excited about it because this is important to me personally,” Hardison said. “First Tee started out as a way to make golf available to more kids, and it tries to teach them core values. You throw in some golf swing technique, etiquette, and tie it all together.”

The First Tee is a national organization, which aims to “impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character … through the game of golf.” It focuses on nine core values, including honesty, sportsmanship, responsibility and courtesy, bringing those lessons to children through learning how to play the game.

Hardison believes in that vision and thinks showing off the game he loves to the next generation is a worthy cause in its own right.

“They’re the future of the game,” he said. “You’ve got to promote golf to the kids so it can continue to be played and played the right way. Junior golf is always something we’ve pursued.”

The golf course will have an open house from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday that will double as a time to register for the program as well as to get introduced to the staff, facility and enjoy some games. It concludes after nine weeks of 90-minute lessons with a tournament, barbecue and prizes Aug. 13.

The cost is $95 for the summer, and the class is for children ages 6 to 17 with any experience or skill level with golf.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Hardison said. “We want to at least give some kids exposure to it (golf), so they know what it’s all about, even if they hate it.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com

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