Yampa Valley Golf Course’s PGA sessions set up Craig kids for future success | CraigDailyPress.com

Yampa Valley Golf Course’s PGA sessions set up Craig kids for future success

Local youth golfers shooting for big things at larger events this summer

Parents and spectators observe as Caden Call, 11, tees off at the beginning of the seventh hole of Yampa Valley Golf Course Tuesday afternoon, while fellow young golfers Devon Malley, 8, red shirt; Colt Call, 8, gray; and Layton Dey get ready to step up for their turn. YVGC hosted the Soda Pop Open as the culmination of the summer's PGA Junior Golf Academy. About 30 kids attended the program over six weeks.

In a game like golf, the younger you start, the more time you have to harness your skill into your later years, a lesson a number of local kids already know.

The PGA Junior Golf Academy concluded its summer program Tuesday at Yampa Valley Golf Course with the Soda Pop Open, a three-hole event for young duffers to show their families what they had learned over the past six weeks.

Bob Mueller, YVGC's course pro, said he taught about 30 children over the season, many of whom are already well on their way to big things in the sport.

Among those hitting the links was 8-year-old Arianna Anderson, who participated in the Drive, Chip & Putt competition earlier this summer in Eagle. In August, she'll play at the sub-regional level in Aurora, and, providing she does well enough, she can go on to California's Torrey Pines and even the national event in Augusta, Georgia, home of none other than The Masters Tournament.

"I'm jealous she might get to play in The Masters before I do," Mueller joked.

Of the three major elements of the game, Anderson said she seems to cycle through which of driving, chipping or putting she prefers.

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"I love them all I think," she said. "I loved the driving this year, the chipping last year and putting before that."

Devon Malley, 8, said he learned a lot over the summer, such as gaining more proficiency with all his clubs.

"We got a lot of golfing covered, and I'm just really happy I picked golfing," he said.

Likewise, 11-year-old Caden Call, who played in a foursome with his younger brother, Colt, as well as Malley and Layton Dey, said he picked up some useful information.

"I learned that you don't chop downward (at the ball), you swing in a U," he said, motioning a smooth stroke with his hands at the barbecue following the small game.

Caden, who first began using a club at age 5, is far from done with golf this season. Along with Ryan Peck, David Andujo and Aiden Mueller, he plays at the courses in Steamboat Springs as part of the PGA Junior Golf League, which Craig's pro is striving to bring to YVGC within the next year

"It's a lot of fun," Caden said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.