There aren’t a lot of sports being played in Montana due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course is taking advantage of the chance to grow the game, offering a junior golf program over a two-week period.
"We have some that are right off the beginner rack and some that actually have a game that’s pretty sharp, and we’ll be working on those individually as the two weeks go on. No matter where they start, they normally come out better," said Kory Rountree, head of junior golf in Red Lodge. "And then etiquette is a huge feature, so that the kids walk away knowing the divots are fixed, the ball marks are fixed. Etiquette and use of their talents, their politeness around the golf course, can rub off on their parents.”
At the end of the two weeks, the kids will get a chance to take what they’ve learned and transfer it onto the course. There will be a scramble tournament on the final day to wrap up the program.
"The scramble format, for anybody who has played golf, that’s the most fun that you’re going to find," Rountree said. "Everybody gets a chance to hit, everybody gets a chance to produce, and everyone does. Everyone sinks a putt, everyone hits a good drive. We end up having a great finishing round that way, give out some prizes. Parents are happy, kids are happy.”
Some kids are first timers, while others have been in the program for multiple years. For young Peyton Njos, just being able to play golf this summer is a blessing after she broke both of her wrists in a bicycle accident.
“I hit the back of a truck. I just took the braces off yesterday. I was down by Circle 17 and I wasn’t watching where I was going and racing my friends," Njos said.
Keep an eye out for some of these youngsters in the future.