Golf clinic teaches youth fundamentals

The children are taught the proper swing technique and grip to hit the ball straight and to avoid injuring themselves or others.

Golf clinic teaches youth fundamentals
July 14
07:00 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



For the past four weeks, the children of the W. R. Anderson Recreation Center’s summer camp have been on the ball.

Forsyth County School board member Victor “Vic” Johnson hosted his annual junior golf camp at the Reynolds Park Golf Course. On July 7, they held the closing program.

This is the 19th year of the golf clinic. Johnson stated if not for the assistance of Samuel Puryear Sr., the camp may not have been this successful.

Puryear, the director of golf operations at Queens University of Charlotte, was with Johnson at the beginning.

“I would always see the kids over at the recreation center, but I never saw the kids over at the golf course,” said Johnson. “I couldn’t imagine that every summer you have 75 to 80 kids at the center and not take advantage of the course next door.  Once I made it on the school board, I just decided I would get these kids involved with golf because there are a lot of quality kids here.”

After the first year of the clinic, Johnson’s wife, Dr. Constance Johnson, came aboard to help out with the everyday duties of the clinic because she felt it was too much for one person to handle alone.

“At first, the organizational skills needed to be improved and it was too much for him to try and do everything,” said Dr. Johnson.  “I really enjoy seeing them develop and mature because initially some of them don’t understand the need for order, taking turns and being respectful of one another, but as time progresses, all of those things just fall into place. “

Children in the clinic start as early as 5 years old. Malcolm Gant, a coach in the clinic, was initially a student.  Gant is a rising senior at Parkland High School. He is seeking to play golf at the collegiate level.  He enjoyed other sports as a youth, but as he started to excel in the game of golf he dropped everything else and focused solely on golf.

“Golf came easy to me so I continued to pursue the game and Vic recognized my talents and he thought I from game and Vic recognized my talents and he thought I was good enough to coach and give back to the community,” said Gant.

“I see me in them as far as where I started, and eventually they can really enjoy the game of golf and then they can take over for me as coach.”

As the kids finished their practice time on the driving range, they were treated to a cook-out style lunch for the last day of the program.  There were acknowledgments and comments  by special guests such as Tim Grant, director of Parks & Recreation for the city of Winston-Salem, and Gary Lash, district supervisor of Parks & Recreation for Winston-Salem.

Jeff Brookshire, assistant principal for Simon G. Atkins Academic & Technology School, gave a motivational speech to the young people to advise them of the programs Atkins High provides along with the bright future that is available to them.

Brookshire added, “ I just wanted to let the kids know that they have choices in life, and by going to school and doing well, that will give them the opportunity to do the things they want to do when they graduate.”

The Samuel Puryear Sr. Award is given to the camper who exemplifies the best qualities and has progressed the most throughout the camp.  This year’s winner was Madison Mingo-Perry of Downtown Middle School.

“I feel happy and excited and I want to thank all of the coaches and Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for the opportunity to win this award.  I get to learn new things and meet new kids and have fun.  I plan to hopefully continue to play golf after the camp is over because I really enjoy it,” said Mingo-Perry.

The kids in the camp really enjoy playing and learning the sport, and Johnson stated that having this camp has been a really rewarding experience for him and is looking forward to next year.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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