PABLO — Linking youths to the golf links and to Salish Kootenai College is the goal of the Silver Fox Youth Golf Camp. In the long run the camp is beneficial to the golf course by priming future customers to SKC by exposing young people to the campus and its higher education mission, and to the youngsters by providing a good way to spend the day outdoors physically active instead of indoors playing video games.
“This is great way for the kids to spend their time. This is great for Salish Kootenai College and it’s free,” said Ralph Goode, Youth Golf Camp volunteer, adding that golf is a good way to exercise and socialize, and that golfing at the Silver Fox Golf Course exposed them to the SKC and the higher educational possibilities there. It also provides links to the links of future golfing customers. Presently the cost of a nine-hole round of golf is presently $11. “We set up the kids interest in golf. They can golf here for free until they are 12 years old when they are accompanied by an adult. Golf is expensive, but not here at Silver Fox.”
Brothers, 6-year-old Bubba and 7-year-old Jesse were back for their second go-round at the Youth Golf Camp. Both said they had a bit of golf experience prior to coming to the camp thanks to their mother giving them lessons.
“We’re here again because this is fun,” Jesse said. “This was good, super good again.”
“Yep, I want to keep coming back,” said Bubba, adding that the driving range was his favorite part of the golf lessons.
Those lessons, according to volunteer John Salmonsen focus on the basic game of golf. “We give the kids the basic taste of the game,” he said. “We help them get rid of the butterflies they might have about golfing or their abilities to golf so they can have fun.”
In all there were 40 youngsters who signed up for the three-day golf camp. They were split into two age groups, with the younger golfers going first in the morning and the older youngsters teeing off in the afternoon.
Goode said the Youth Golf Camp has been going on for nearly 20 years now .
The Youth Golf Camp was sponsored by the Tribal Health Department’s Reason to Live Native program.