Junior league helping to spark interest in the game of golf

The game of golf needs a boost and there’s an up-and-coming league that’s doing its best to promote the sport.

“The game has been stagnating in years past,” said Jimmy Hamilton, Wildwood Green Instructor.

Junior League Golf is open to kids ages 13 and younger and was created about four years ago by the PGA to spark interest in the game. The goal is to have young golfers develop a passion for the sport, and it appears to be working.

“Yeah, this is a lot of fun actually. I think everyone has a lot of fun,” said Matthew Lester, 11-year-old Junior League golfer.

The program has grown 100 percent each of the past two years and now includes 30,000 young golfers.

Each golfer has a number, like a basketball or baseball player would. The golfer is paired with a similar aged player to form a team. The two square off in a captain’s choice format against a team from a neighboring golf course.

“It’s really fun because you can learn from you’re other partner and be able to share advice with each other,” said Annie Winter, 11-year-old Junior League golfer.

Hamilton has been a coach for the league for two years.

“This is my second year doing it, pinching myself saying, ‘Am I really allowed to have this much fun, working with these kids?,’ it’s a blast,” said Hamilton

And for the kids, it’s a chance to make memories for a lifetime.

“Fifteen footer putt; it was on the fringe of the green and I putted it into the hole for my team for my group to win the hole,” said Winters.

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