By Walt Johnson (Fort Carson)April 7, 2011
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- The Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course was overrun by young people Saturday, and golf course officials could not have been happier.
The golf course hosted its annual Clubs for Kids Day program designed to help young people become familiar with the game of golf as part of the Month of the Military Child events sponsored by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
The youngsters could not have asked for a better day for the program as the sun-baked 80-degree weather greeted the golfers who showed up ready to take swings and enjoy the experience of learning to play the game of golf.
According to golf course officials, 135 post youths took advantage of the opportunity to learn the game and get some free prizes. Frank Jacobson, Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course business manager, said each child received a golf club, a three-bag range punch card, three Birdie Balls (while the supply lasted) and a 15-minute golf lesson from several adult teachers.
Jacobson added that all participants also had the opportunity to take swings at the Birdie Ball 22-foot dinosaur and a second inflatable toy, which was met with pleasure by both the young golfers and their parents.
This type of program is a "win-win" situation for the children and the golf course, said Keith Stilwell, one of the staffers on hand to help teach the game of golf. He said the golf course wins because of the exposure to the game the youths receive and the youngsters win because they get the opportunity to learn a "great game" that allows them to be active in a positive way.
"The great thing about Clubs for Kids is it gives a pure introduction to the game of golf for the kids. We like to do this early in April to give the kids who understand the game a chance to get back into it and to give those (who) are being introduced to it a good foundation for the upcoming spring and summer," Stilwell said.
Christopher Barrett brought his son Cameron to the event. Barrett used to bring Cameron to the golf course before his deployment to Iraq. Saturday gave him a chance to spend some more time with his son.
"My son is very active and he likes to be out with dad on the driving range, so I thought it was a nice idea to let him be a part of a beginner golf program." Barrett said. "I want him to learn a little more about the game so I can take him out on the course with me. I just got back from Iraq and before I deployed he would come ... with me to the golf course. Now this is a great opportunity to have some father-son time."