Children took over the Fort Jackson Golf Club this week during the 2019 Junior Golf Program. Kids as young as six learned golf basics and forged new friendships during the week-long program.

"We're learning chipping today," said 8-year-old Maci Whatley. "I think my favorite part of golf is putting. It's really fun."

Maci, along with 14 other children, took part in the second iteration of the camp July 23. She learned the basics of putting such as lining up her shot and how strong of a stroke to make. She even competed with her team "Bob's Burgers" in a chipping competition. Her team won.

Each day of the camp, the children learned new skills such as putting, chipping, full swing with irons and full swing with woods. The final day of camp is a fun day that includes a unique mash-up of golf and baseball called "Bolf," where the kids use their golf clubs to swing at tennis balls and run bases much like baseball.

"I play golf with my dad," said Tyler Gibbs, 8 years old. "My favorite part of golf is driving and I made a (birdie)."

Gibbs's parents attended the camp and proudly watched from a distance as their son learned new skills. For Gibbs, attending the camp helps strengthen the bond between him and his father who is an avid golfer. The two frequently play together. Gibbs, like the rest of the camp attendees, learned valuable skills for not only on the green, but in life.

It teaches them a lot of great stuff not just about golf but about life," said David Brown, Fort Jackson assistant golf professional. "Golf is a lifelong sport so they learn etiquette, manners and how to work as a team. I think it's great for them."

Brown also explained future opportunities for the camp attendees. Those that enjoy the sport can continue their path by joining the Fort Jackson PGA Junior League. Depending on the skill of each player, they have the potential to play golf at the Junior PGA level throughout high school and possibly compete for college golf scholarships like Brown did.

"So there are lots of options for them," Brown said.

The camp ends on Friday, but the last iteration of the camp will begin Aug. 5. There is still time to sign-up children between ages 6 - 15 for the weeklong camp by contacting the Fort Jackson Golf Club at 803-787-4344.