I like golf. Real golf. I put up with miniature golf because with threegrandchildren, I have to.
I used to play in my previous life as an information technology sales rep. I love the exercise, the natural surroundings, the camaraderie, and the fact that if you “blow up” on a hole (meaning you are way, way over par – think Sergio Garcia on Sunday), it is very acceptable to pick up your ball and move on. For those of us not playing for money, the next hole lets you start fresh. I used to be good enough that I could join a charity tournament or work foursome and not embarrass myself.
On Saturday, May 11 the Nike Golf Learning Center at Reston National Golf Course (RNGC) held a free Junior Golf Clinic. I signed up both grandsons, the youngest being almost five. As we drove there Saturday, the almost-13 year old started reminiscing about the camp he’d gone to at RNGC six years ago and how come I never took him golfing any more. The answer is because about five other sports and school got in the way, but now that he refocused, I seized the moment.
The Nike Golf Learning Center has operated at Reston National for 12 years. Their website says it is “considered one of the best player development golf schools in the country.” I have no reason to doubt it.
There were over 60 children participating Saturday in an age range of 4-14. We met under the covered porch as the golf coaches were introduced. Then the children were sorted into groups and followed coaches to their different training spots. They rotated through all the aspects of golf, starting with a quick lesson on safety. They putted, chipped, drove and got to aim for a huge blow-up dinosaur (how fun is that!?!).
The little guy is following in his older brother’s footsteps of trying every sport that Reston has to offer. He declared at the end of the day that he wants golf lessons . . . and he shall have them. Grandson #1 and I will find time for twilight golf after 5 p.m. on a non-soccer day. The fees are lower then and hopefully the course is not as busy.
If you’ve never played, consider giving it a try. A few lessons from the Nike Golf Center and you’ll be ready to rent clubs and get out there to play. Reading up a bit on etiquette will help you to feel at ease. Perhaps you can get a copy of the Snoopy Etiquette guide they gave the kids on Saturday. I checked and collared shirts are preferred but not required at RNGC.
Reston National Golf Course is waiting for you to play. Come on out and learn a sport that you can play with your grandchildren when you are really, really old. And give them the opportunity while they are still very, very young. They’ll thank you later.