Summer’s coming and with it the promise of another season of learning more about golf. For those lucky enough to attend junior golf summer camps, those golden weeks are a chance to hone skills and develop new abilities in the game.
Not all camp experiences are the same, though. Each junior golf summer camp has its own nuances, its own way of leading youngsters toward their goals in golf. Here are some things to look for in choosing the right camp.
Instructors form the core of the junior golf summer camp experience, and whether a young person is just entering the game or has been swinging a golf club from an early age, it is helpful to look for experience. Not just how long the instructors have been involved in the game, but also how long they have been working with kids and how successful they have been in doing so. It takes a certain personality to make a golf camp experience meaningful while also keeping it fun. That’s important: If it isn’t fun, kids may not want to stay with the game when fall rolls around.
2. Point of View
Point of view also factors in. Each camp typically will have its own philosophy, its own approach to how the game is taught and played. Some will put a heavy emphasis on competition. Nothing wrong with that—it’s a competitive game. But not every child learns well that way. Some camps put the emphasis on teaching the fundamentals, focusing on rudimentary skills every day until they are ingrained. Again, no problem there, unless a child is the type prone to boredom or distraction in the face of repetition. Then there are the other camps that take a different approach, letting young players learn in a less structured environment.
Curriculum matters at camp just as it does in any other learning environment. Camps typically will have a set agenda and a list of goals for what is to be taught and practiced in any given session. It’s worth taking a close look, especially if your camper may be ahead of his or her peer group or if, conversely, he or she may be a bit behind the curve. If a camp has no particular curriculum, then you might want to ask what exactly that camp plans to accomplish. Camp is meant to be fun, but it’s also a learning experience.
Cost will likely factor in as well will likely factor in as well, at least for most of us. Unlike more traditional camps, summer golf may have unexpected expenses, such as membership fees. It’s certainly worth researching. And just because one camp costs more or less than another, that is not necessarily an indicator of quality. All the factors mentioned above also weigh in, with price being but one of many considerations. While various factors may impact cost, the most likely is duration: Two weeks of camp will cost less than four weeks. But you’ll also get in less instruction and less practice. It’s a balancing act.
Overall, summer junior golf camps can be a rich and rewarding experience on a personal level and a means of boosting a young person’s game to the next level. It’s worth doing the research in order to find the right fit.