SEVEN HILLS—Perched in the driver’s seat of a golf cart while his dad filled in a scorecard next to the fourth green at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club, six-year-old Jeremy Webber stated matter-of-factly that he’d golfed “about 50-something times.”
As young Jeremy grabbed the steering wheel and contemplated the vast canyon between his shoe and the cart’s gas pedal, his father, Mike Webber, clarified the claim.
“This is actually his first full round,” Mike said. “We’ve had him out to hit on the range and putt a couple of times.”
Monday’s golf tournament at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club may not have boasted the most high-calibre competition, but it would be hard to find more diversity — and fun — on the fairways.
To help spark interest in a junior golf program, Seven Hills manager Kevin Black invited parents or grandparents to bring their kids to the course for an afternoon of fun, prizes and pizza in a low-key, best-ball scramble featuring parents and kids together in groups.
“I’m really excited about the turnout,” said Black. “We had no idea what to expect. We had 30 sign up, and 30 showed up. I was thinking we’d be doing it with 12 or 15 people.”
It was a unique day on the course, with tourney participants learning the basic rules and etiquette of the game as they went. Rules, that is, like don’t touch another player’s ball, use only one club at a time while addressing a shot, and no running on the greens.
The parent-child format allowed the club to encourage the newcomers — both pre-teens and older kids who were swinging clubs for the first time — to try the game while at the same time being supervised on their rounds.
Doug and Cyndy Grant of Port McNeill brought sons Cameron, celebrating his 14th birthday on Monday; Joey, 9, and William, 7. It was the first round for the two younger boys, though Cameron debuted a year earlier.
“It’s the first group of partners I’ve had that make me look good out here,” Doug cracked, admitting he makes it out “every couple of years for a day.”
Doug and Brenda McCorquodale of Port Hardy played with daughters Abigail McCorquodale and Carly Waring. Young Abigail, 8, showed off her best hockey slap-shot grip and punctuated most of her shots with the comment, “Are you serious?”
Waring said she has swung a club before, though she had never played a full round.
“More like one hole,” she said. “But now I’ve got a glove.”
The ultimate goal of the day for Seven Hills was to introduce the game to the players who will be the key to the club’s success.
“This is the very beginning of a concept of trying to resurrect a junior program at the course,” said Black. “I know our equipment suppliers and businesses in the area will be willing to help out as sponsors. I can give lessons; I’ve got Clay (Jones) here to help.
“Everyone here is willing to put in a lot of effort. But if there are no kids, they’re not going to do it again. It’s one of those chicken and egg things.”
Black has no firm schedule or even a specific format for a junior program, but invites any interested families to contact Seven Hills about the opportunity for kids.
For more info, call Seven Hills Club at 250-949-9818.