It's a beloved pastime of many and a lucrative career for some.
A concerted effort to introduce more youngsters to the joys of golf is paying dividends, with both The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School and St Joseph’s Primary School building golfing clinics into their curriculum.
Patricia Barry is championing the take-up of the game, as always, but has been aided by fellow keen golfer Letitia Jones earning her Level 1 coaching accreditation, giving Tenterfield Golf Club two community coaches (along with Mrs Barry).
Mrs Barry has also enlisted the services of Warwick-based golf pro Sam Eaves and offsider Steve Klease to instruct the children, leading to some active greens on the afternoons that the school clinics operate.
“One group will be putting, another one over there chipping, one group’s hitting long balls down the hill, another group up the hill…,” Mrs Barry said.
“It’s working very well, and the kids are loving it.”
There have been three clinics so far, with close to 70 participants when the clinics are at full strength. More are scheduled after the school holidays for October 26 and November 9 and 23.
A similar endeavour some years ago attracted 69 new junior golfers to the club. Mrs Barry has a goal of at least 50 from this effort, to maintain the momentum of up-and-coming players.
“Junior golf is going from strength-to-strength,” she said.
It’s not costing families anything for their children to be involved in the school clinics, with all equipment and coaching provided for free.
“The Golf Club has been absolutely wonderful in what they’re providing for junior golf,” Mrs Barry said.
Coaching for the club’s junior golfers is on a Thursday afternoon, and on Friday afternoons continues on from the school clinics. The next big junior golf event on the calendar is the 3-day Junior Tournament, a 54-hole open golf challenge, on January 7, 8 and 9.
Mrs Barry said there’s plenty of opportunity and support for youngsters to see if golf is the sport for them. She’s sees some burgeoning talent out there on the fairways, and remains hopeful that those with an aptitude for the sport will go on to develop their skills.