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Teaching the basics at Chicopee youth golf clinic
Jack Tucker practices a chip shot during the Junior Golf Summer Camp at the Chicopee Woods Golf Course Thursday. - photo by Tom Reed | The Times

When the alarm goes off each morning, most youth would roll over and hit snooze, hoping for just five more minutes of restful sleep, especially in the summer. For youth golfers attending Chicopee Woods Golf Course’s annual junior clinics, however, that alarm signals the beginning of an exciting morning full of opportunities to better their game or simply learn the basics.

The junior clinic program has been a successful summer staple at Chicopee Woods since the golf course opened over 20 years ago. Jeff Frasier, Chicopee’s Director of Instruction, and his staff work with over 50 junior golfers during each week of the clinic.

“My staff and volunteers will work with the juniors to create proper practice habits and skills needed to develop a golf swing,” Frasier said.

Golfers receive instruction on the fundamentals of the game, a full swing, putting and chipping, for two hours each morning over a three-day period. At the end of the clinic, the juniors get the chance to show off their newly-honed abilities with skill challenges and competitions.

The young golfers also learn to work together during the camp, using a buddy system to ensure safety and organization.

This summer, U.S. Kids Golf was represented on the first day of the clinic, demonstration clubs were available for the kids to try, and any information on the products was made available to the parents during the camp.

Over the course of the summer, nearly 120 junior golfers participated in the Chicopee Woods clinics. The camp cost in 2012 was $35 per golfer, making it affordable to almost anyone who would like to take part. The junior clinic will be even more accessible in 2013, as Frasier plans to add another week of the camp and hold a total of three clinics throughout the summer.

“I would like to reach over 150 juniors and introduce another 25 to the game who might have never played before,” said Frasier.

If history repeats itself, Frasier should have a number of junior golfers eager to wake up and spend the morning at Chicopee Woods for many summers to come.

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