Golf opportunities for area youth expanding at GHGC

Pair of clinics upcoming this month

As supplied to C-T
Young golfers practice their putting skills on the large practice green at Green Hills Golf Course.A 2-day youth golf camp will be hosted by GHGC July 28-29.

Submitted by Todd Rodenberg

There have been many what supporters projects as positive changes at Green Hills Golf Course in Chillicothe the past several months.

Among them are new leadership and improvements to the beautify and playability of the municipally-owned course.

Russ Madsen has taken the helm of the operation on behalf of GreatLIFE Mid-Missouri, city-contracted operator of the course. He has years of golf management experience combined with a passion and proficiency for teaching the game to thousands of juniors and adults.

Matt Rinehart has come aboard as the new assistant course superintendent and his helping hands and knowledge are a welcomed addition to Keith Kepner’s agronomic staff.

All of these changes are designed to bring a greater golfing experience to the citizens of Chillicothe and the greater Midwest golfing community. Travelers form Iowa, Minnesota, and other northern states come every year to enjoy the beauty and challenge of the links-style course, a layout type rarely seen in this part of the country. Their yearly return speaks volumes about just how special the golfing experience is in Chillicothe.

While it’s exciting to see these yearly golf enthusiasts, nothing is more exciting than to see the resurgence of golf enthusiasm among the youth in our own backyard.

As big-picture golf’s “era of Tiger” comes closer to an end with the potential career-ending injuries sustained by legendary player Tiger Woods several months ago, new stars have emerged and captured the imagination of young golfers, both boys and girls.

For this very reason, Green Hills Golf Course, under the leadership of Madsen and the Green Hills Golf Committee, has planned some of the most fun and engaging youth golf programs found anywhere in the area.

These are designed to bring enjoyment and golf learning experiences to kids of all ages and skill levels, while at the same time being designed to be affordable and time-friendly to parents.

GreatLIFE Mid-Missouri is so committed to this locally-advocated cause that it is introducing a FREE golf camp experience to all kids in the Chillicothe and surrounding area late this month, as well as a separate instructional opportunity (fee involved) strictly for high school-age players this coming week.

The general and free-of-charge camp will be offered July 28-29, providing golfers ages 5-17 the chance to have a 2-days learning experience that is also planned to be filled with fun. Clubs, snacks, drinks, and a whole lot of swings will be provided to these youngsters at a price no one can argue with – nothing!

Madsen, the GHGC Committee, and GreatLIFE Mid-Missouri will follow those summer golf experiences for local youth with in-school golf learning opportunities proposals to the Chillicothe R-2 School District for its consideration this fall.

GreatLIFE has been a leader in providing SNAG (Starting New At Golf) equipment and in-class golf professional support for this dynamic program that allows children as young as age 5 years to learn golf in an indoor setting with specialized golf training aids that make the experience fun and exciting.

These programs are currently offered throughout school systems around the country, giving physical education teachers something new and different to add to their curriculum. Introduction to the game of golf for younger students can then culminate in on-course golf instruction classes to older students.

The proximity of Green Hills Golf Course to Chillicothe High School – only the proverbial “stone’s throw” away – makes for a unique opportunity to provide local students with an experience not often available in other school settings. These opportunities, along with the commitment to affordable golfing experiences by GreatLIFE MidMO and the city-owned could ensure a bright future for both Green Hills Golf Course and the high school golf programs for both girls and boys.

Persons passionate about local youth and want to be a part of keeping GHGC a special place in our community for kids, families, friends, and businesses to spend quality time together, are invited and encouraged to support this year’s Green Hills Golf Course Improvement Tournament early next month (Saturday, Aug. 7).

By playing in or merely donating to this special cause can assist in further enhancing the course’s civic-asset potential. On behalf of the committee, this is a great opportunity for businesses to create awareness about their company, while at the same time making a true and lasting difference for kids in our community. Donations are deductible and all proceeds from this year’s event will go towards the new junior golf initiatives and course improvement needs.

More about the junior golf events and plans and the annual tournament can be learned online at greenhillsgolflinks.com, or by contacting the course at (660) 646-6669.