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Make it a family affair
For The Sudbury Star

The dinner table isn’t the only place a family can spend quality time — it can also be done on a fairway. Local courses and teaching professionals have been promoting golf as a family friendly activity in recent years. “We’re trying to ... get more people to play by making it a family affair,” said Tom Clark, head teaching


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professional at Timberwolf Golf Club. “It’s a (chance) to spend some time with your kids and get out and have fun.” The emergence of Tiger Woods in particular has been attributed to getting younger children on the golf course. The youth movement has also paved the way for parents to get into the game, as well. “Ever since Tiger came on to the scene, a lot of kids are taking it up, and a lot of women are taking it up because their kids are taking it up,” said Rene Grandmaison, a certified teaching professional and master club fitter at the Grand Lynx Golf Centre. “It just snowballs. It’s becoming a lot more like a family thing. The first thing you know, the parents get interested and start playing, too. Golf is for all ages.” Grandmaison, owner of the Grand Lynx Golf Centre, said he provides lessons to juniors, men, women and seniors. The whole family, from daughter to grandfather, can attend his lessons and learn the game together. Afterwards, the family can go out and play a course together. Clark said that in the past, certain courses, like Cedar Green Golf Club, have set up tee blocks about halfway down the fairway, so youngsters can golf alongside their parents and shoot a reasonable round. The course has even provided junior scorecards. Other courses, such as the Lively Golf and Country Club, have times and days in place to promote play for all ages and groups of family members. “We have days like on Sundays, where normally juniors can’t play in the morning, if they come out with a parent, then they can play,” John Hastie, the Lively course pro said. “We try to do as much as we can to encourage family play and junior play.” Hastie said the Lively Golf and Country Club is more of a family course. It is actually part of their mission statement to create a family-oriented atmosphere at their course. Their goal has been to promote the golf course as a place where the whole family can get together and spend four or five hours with each other while having fun. In some cases, parents may just bring their kids along to the course just to spend time with them. The children don’t necessarily have to play a full round of golf, or play at all. “Sometimes, maybe there’s a pull cart or a drive cart that the parent is on and the kid is helping them kind of caddy a little bit,” Clark said. “Every once and while they (parents) will drop a ball down and let the them hit if there’s a little bit of time.” Clark said when a family plays a round, they don’t necessarily even need to record scores in order to enjoy the game and each other’s company. It’s not every day that a family can get together and play a sport, and to find one the whole family can enjoy and play all at once is rare. “There’s not a lot of sports a family can play together,” Hastie said. “If your son plays hockey, you’re not going to see the mom and the dad playing hockey with them. It’s a sport that’s good for that.”

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