Kids just want a chance.
They want their own clubs, to take their own swings, track their own balls. They even want to fill out their own scorecards. That's why Fox Hollow Golf Club installed junior tees, giving the par 71, 7,138-yard course a short course just for kids.
"It gives (kids) a golf course, where they can go out there and it's kind of their own," Fox Hollow outings coordinator Brian Cummings said. "One of these tee boxes — all of them, actually — are built to their skill level and ability and that's good for the juniors. They can feel like real golfers. They have their own scorecard and their own course."
Fox Hollow already had the blocks to mark the tee boxes. They just had to fix them up, then stick them in the ground. The short course, which is par 71 and 3,878 yards, has two sets of tees: a blue and a gold tee. The tee placements are mostly in the middle of the regular fairway, with the longest hole being 305 yards on the par 5, No. 4 hole.
"It all worked out real nice," Cummings said. "It just took a little manpower."
During the summer, Cummings and Fox Hollow host a series of junior golf camps, so installing the short course was a no-brainer. After a week of training and range practice, kids as young as 4 and up to 15 get to play a round on the course.
Not too shabby, considering most times when kids play with their folks, they have to guesstimate where to tee off.
"It's true, there aren't many of them out there," Cummings said. "We wanted to put it out there because we have an awareness for junior golf and we're devoted to your junior camps."
Junior golfers are taking advantage of the short course, which opened in June. Whether as part of the junior golf camp or just playing, junior golfers like seeing tees just for them.
"I like it a lot," 11-year-old Michaela MacDougall said. "What's good about it is that they (our parents, adults) aren't getting all the (low) scores and then we're getting sixes and sevens and eights. It gives us a chance to play realistically with a real score, not one that isn't right. Plus, we get to experience real golf."
Junior golfers also realize the rarity of short courses, which can be frustrating at times. But now, they see some courses are looking out for them.
"There aren't many short courses that I can play on," Gina-Marie Iachello said. "You don't see them in many neighborhood courses anywhere. It's nice to have one that anyone who is younger can play on, even when we go play with our parents."
Though the junior camps at Fox Hollow only last a few short, but very hot, months, the short course is there to stay. Cummings says the course installation had families in mind.
That way a family can spend the afternoon on the links.
"This gives a chance for kids to get out there and play," Cummings said. "Whether it be amongst friends and family, they are able to play a round and keep their own score. A lot of kids don't know about it, but when we say, 'Here, you can play the par 4 like your parent,' then they want to."
Community sports editor Mike Camunas can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 544-1771.