Monarch Beach Resort Moments Magazine Issue 6 - Page 25

FINDING YOUR GROOVE Coaches teach junior golfers proper technique. three holes they’ll get a flag, and a flag is won every three holes. The most flags wins the match.” In short order, the kids on this team are already hoisting their share of those flags. “We’ve definitely won some matches, probably about 75 percent,” Delgado says. “There are some very talented kids on our team, and a few that I can see going on to play at the college level.” Playing amid one of the nation’s great golf pockets, the PGA Jr. League team at Monarch Beach Golf Links may, indeed, prove a key step- ping stone for some kids. “They’ve done a great job with this program,” Lohman adds. “Truly capturing the spirit of ‘team,’ while also bridging that gap between this, the team format of high school golf and perhaps even beyond for some players.” The new program has been so successful that Delgado and Glasco added an ongoing clinic for kids who want additional instruction outside of the PGA Jr. League. The instructional augment serves as a complement to Monarch Beach Golf Link’s existing youth programs. THE FLAG OF SPORTSMANSHIP For Delgado, at the close of a match, the most important flag raised is one championing the game’s true tenets. “I really try to both teach and stress the importance of good sportsmanship,” he says. “At their ages, [instruction] … isn’t always the prime focus; it’s more about integrity and teaching, not only golf skills, but life skills.” A nd while Delgado takes pride in seeing nascent golf participants develop genuine swings (he says that some of the kids could barely get the ball airborne, at first), this instruc- tor’s greatest pleasure has been wit- nessing how the kids have coached one another. “Everybody wants to get better, and we’ve seen the kids with less experience being mentored by the players with a lot of talent; it’s really cool to see and it’s helped all of them improve,” Delgado says. “I’ve just been so impressed by how these kids have helped each other, taken care of each other and how the older kids have helped out the younger ones.” With each flag claimed, each les- son learned and every new relation- ship formed through golf, Delgado never takes his eye off the big picture. “We’re helping to grow the game,” he explains. “… And it’s not just get- ting the kids involved, but many of their parents, some of whom wouldn’t normally be on a golf course, … now they’re out here as families.” For locals seeking to get their kids involved in golf, or Monarch Beach Resort guests who are ready to get on the course as a family, the Pro Shop at Monarch Beach Golf Links provides a full complement of golf gear and attire for youth and junior players. “Whether the player is [a] 4-year-old or 15, we’ve got them covered,” says Eric Lohman, PGA gen- eral manager at Monarch Beach Golf Links. Along with rental sets, the Pro Shop also offers an array of sets for sale, includ- ing clubs by Callaway Golf. “We sell four different types of junior and youth sets, which is generally good for a kid from 4 to 8 years old,” Lohman explains. “After that, we generally place them in a senior set or a ladies’ set.” Youth attire at Monarch’s Pro Shop is available to help fully outfit on-course kids, from head to hand to foot. “We carry Nike junior shoes and caps, kids’ clothing and hats from TravisMathew, gloves from FootJoy and a lot more,” Lohman says. Monarch also has SNAG Golf on-site, a popular pro- gram that has proven to be a great way to introduce kids to the game’s fundamen- tals by using plastic clubs and scoring targets to bring youth into the game for the first time. Seen at the resort during special events, camps and holidays, SNAG has set a foundation that golf is indeed played and not worked. “It’s a great program for kids,” Lohman says of SNAG. “It’s very much a fun introductory program to the game with tennis balls and targets that the balls stick to.” MONARCHBEACHRESORT.COM 25