Golf camp brings game to youth

The kids from the Vic Johnson Golf Clinic following the closing program at Reynolds Park Golf Course.

Golf camp brings game to youth
July 18
01:20 2019

The Vic Johnson Golf Clinic has been a staple for summer camp youth of the city for over two decades. The clinic introduces the game to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience golf.

Last Friday, July 12, the clinic wrapped up its 22nd year with their annual closing program. The program included a motivational speaker, awards for all participants and the announcement of the outstanding camper.

The camp was held at the Reynolds Park Golf Course. The campers come from the W.R. Anderson Community Center summer camp. There are usually more participants, but there were issues with transportation from the other community centers.

“We dealt with a lot of younger kids this year, which meant we had to give them a little more time to grow, but overall it was a great group,” said Johnson.  

Johnson said golf will soon be offered as a sport to middle school students in the county and wants more minority children to take advantage of what the sport offers. Giving young people an opportunity to play the sport was his major motivation to start the camp 22 years ago.

“I used to play over here at the Reynolds Park course a lot and one day I stopped by the swimming pool at the rec center and thought, ‘you have 50 or 60 kids that are sitting right in front of a golf course and I have never seen any of them on the course.’ so that’s why we started all of this,” Johnson continued.

Over the years, Johnson has had the pleasure of witnessing several of the campers graduate high school and obtain scholarships to play on the next level.  

“It makes you feel good when you can keep up with all the names and trace them all the way through school,” he said about his campers. “The average football and basketball player only has so many years to play, but if someone picks up golf, it can be their outlet for the rest of their lives.”

Johnson feels it is very important to teach this generation about the game of golf.  He knows the financial benefits can be substantial and seeks to make the children aware.

Darrion Marshall was the 2019 Most Outstanding Camper for the clinic. This was his second year with the camp and is eagerly awaiting next summer to return once again.

“I enjoyed learning the game and running out into the field and going to get the balls,” said Marshall.  

Johnson says he will continue the clinic for as long as his mind and body will allow him to do so. 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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