The focus on golf shifted from group lessons to fun competitions June 20 as several hundred young golfers and their families attended the celebration capping off the 2012 Hole-N-One Golf Program at the Broken Tee at Englewood Golf Course.
“Overall we had another successful program,” said Bob Spada, course director. “Our attendance was down a little, but we still had more than 500 students in the program. We did change the way we presented some of the lessons so kids coming back wouldn’t be going through the same lessons over and over. We felt the changes were good because it seemed they did a better job of helping the kids improve their golf skills.”
This was the 13th year for the program designed to help 5- to 15-year olds learn how to play golf.
Lessons are divided into age groups and there are groups for beginners as well as for the more experienced golfers.
But all the lessons were completed in time for the June 20 event. The celebration included a number of competitions, with the winners getting prizes and the opportunity to meet and get autographs from sports figures like former Bronco Billy Thompson and former Nuggets player Bill Hanzlik.
Lunch was provided free as a crew from Englewood business Red Bird Farms staffed the grills and provided a choice of hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken or chicken sausages to all comers. Meadow Gold Dairy capped off the meal by offering free ice cream treats.
A steady parade of families found a place to park so they could join the festivities
Family members stood near the parking lot with Alexis Lyons, her siblings Kevin and Jackie and her friend Anna as they gathered their clubs before moving up to the registration tent.
This is the second year Alexis has attended the Hole-N-One program.
“I think this year was better because I feel I learned more about golf,” the 9-year-old Littleton resident said. “I feel the coaches helped me improve my skills by holding fun competitions so we were learning while we were having a good time.”
Alexis said her dad likes to play golf, she tried it with him, fell in love with the sport and wanted to learn how to play the game.
“I played a round of golf on the Par 3 course with my dad,” she said. “Dad won. But I want to come back to Hole-N-One and get better so I can shoot the best score when I play dad.”
Up at the driving range, Sandi Quarton was watching her daughter Lori try to hit a drive into a target.
“Lori came last year and really enjoyed it,” the Centennial residents said. “I had never golfed but she got me interested in the game. So, this year, I took a lesson while she was in Hole-N-One. We both like golf and we are anxious to get to the point we can play a round of golf together. We’ll work on it and hopefully we can play the Par 3 course before the end of the summer.”
A short distance away, David McClendon was helping his 7-year-old son Ryan with his grip and his stance.
“I am a golfer, hoped Ryan would get interested in the sport, so we hit the ball around the backyard a bit,” the Littleton man said. “This year, Ryan came to the program. I feel it helped him have fun with the game and learn more about it. I hope he sticks with it.”