If you are a junior golfer or maybe just a junior looking to be a golfer, then you should get in touch with Chris Veltkamp to set you up with a game.
Veltkamp, a former CPGA Professional and a teacher at St. Mary-St. Cecilia School in Morrisburg, is working with the Iroquois Golf Club and setting up a week-long Junior Golf Camp that will run from Monday, July 14 through Friday, July 18. In addition, he has organized a Play Junior Golf Tour with stops at five area golf courses.
Veltkamp explains that the idea of the Golf Camp at the Iroquois Golf Club came about as a result of a noticeable decline of junior golfers.
“I have been speaking with management at Iroquois, and they have seen a decline in their junior golfers. So they would like to grow it, and we are hoping a week-long golf camp will get some interest going.”
For the past six years,Veltkamp has been running junior golf camps at the 18-hole executive par 3 Sunnidell course in Brockville, where he says he has had a lot of success.
He designs his camps to be fun and exciting and has developed them from the CN Future Links (Canada’s Leading Junior Golf Development Program) and information from the Titleist Performance Institute TPI (the world’s leading educational organization and research facility that studies the human body in relation to the golf swing.)
Veltkamp explains that TPI stresses the building of a complete athlete, and he incorporates into his camps, activities that will help develop a youngster’s coordination, agility, balance, flexibility and core strength, just to name a few.
Things like skipping, throwing a ball, kicking a ball, Frisbee throwing, playing on monkey bars, racing others…are some of the recommended TPI activities.
“Each day of the camp, we focus on a specific component for about 45 minutes. We ask golfers to finish the swing on their front foot, when some people can’t even balance on one foot. So we play fun little games to achieve this that I have incorporated. It’s not rocket science. You build an athlete first, and they will pick up the finer points of golf as they go along. You can watch any golf tournament today, and you will see that the men and women are in phenomenal shape.”
Veltkamp says he aims at keeping the camps fun and he moves the participants along from one activity to another. These activities might include other sports such as ball or maybe a little soccer. A lot of athletic movements are developed in these sports.”
Each day of the clinic includes work at the range and each afternoon includes time on the course for a game.
Veltkamp advises parents that golf is an absolutely wonderful game to involve their kids in. It is a game that will last a lifetime and teaches great values.
“One of the neat things about golf is it’s a game you will never beat,” he says. “Every day is a new challenge. You can be having a bad round and then on the second last hole of the day, get a hole in one. All you have to do is hit a couple of really good shots and you will be back because there is always a chance you are going to be one shot better the next time.”
“Kids can play just for fun, they can play to be with their friends, they can play to be outdoors, they can play for exercise, they can play to be competitive, and they can play for school scholarships. There are a lot of opportunities in golf.”
“Look at Brooke Henderson from Smiths Falls. She is 16 years old, comes from a small town and look where she is today.”
The five day Iroquois Junior Golf Camp will run from Monday, July 14-Friday July 18, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. It is limited to 30 golfers, ages 7-13 from throughout the area. The cost is $200 and each participant will receive over 30 hours of instruction daily play each afternoon, a camp gift, a complimentary 18 hole green fee and the opportunity to purchase a mini-membership with the Iroquois Golf Club for July/August.