Young golfers hit the links as part of golf camp |

Young golfers hit the links as part of golf camp

Ben Bulkeley

— Halle Hamilton kneeled down Monday to sort through her pile of bright yellow golf balls after rain clouds had shuffled past.

Once she found the one she wanted, she used her putter to push all the other ones aside.

Golf ball in one hand and the tee pinched between her thumb and forefinger, she began hammering the tee into the ground.

Through a balancing act, the ball rested on its white wooden perch, Hamilton squared up her shot.

Hamilton, 5, was ready to golf.

As were 12 other 4- to 5-year-olds taking cuts as part of the Yampa Valley Golf Course’s summer golf camp. The youngsters will learn the fundamentals until Wednesday.

One fundamental Hamilton doesn’t need to learn is where the ball needs to go.

Standing on the edge of the course, in thicker grass, she put ball after ball on the green.

“It’s so much fun hitting them,” she said. “I like doing this so much.”

With the younger golfers, the main lesson is simple, coach Ann Marie Roberts said.

Play golf, and have fun doing it.

“We’re just trying to get them into the game,” Roberts said. “We’ll teach them how to hold their clubs and get them excited to play.”

Roberts, with golf course pro Brett Etzler, have been teaching golf camps since 2005.

Older students have a chance to practice their driving, chipping and putting skills and get to combine everything they’ve learned in three to four holes, Roberts said.

“We teach them the correct mechanics,” Roberts said. “Then they get to try it out on the course.”

Brooke Krause, 10, started golfing with her father, Shane.

“Every summer I golf with my dad : he got me into it,” she said. “We just have fun.”

Krause said her favorite part of golf is a different kind of driving.

“I like driving the carts,” she said.

To help with the younger golfers, who sent little yellow balls whizzing in every direction, Roberts enlisted a few former young golfers.

Colby Haddan, 15, is a golfer at Moffat County High School and helped with the camp.

“I started because my older brothers did it,” he said. “It’s nice to see little kids starting.”

The day of camp, however, was not without casualties.

Garrett Anson, 4, had a few good shots, but a couple of strokes went astray.

“I’m tearing up the grass,” he said, as a missed swing kicked up a clod of grass and soil. “It’s fun; I like it. I golf a lot, but I’m tearing up the grass with my club.”

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