ROCKFORD — Golfers are always eager to take advantage of the summer weather and improve their skills on the course. For local players looking to participate at the high school level or learn more about the sport, attending the Rochelle Township High School youth summer camp at Aldeen Golf Club this week gave them an opportunity to gain the full golf experience.
The RTHS summer camp teed off at the Aldeen Practice Centre on Monday, with head coach Glen Mehrings working with a small group of up-and-coming players and teaching them the fundamental skills necessary to excel at the sport. Players took full advantage of the practice facility this week, using the practice greens, bunkers and driving range to hone their putting, chipping and driving skills.
“We have two kids coming into the high school program and one more who will be in eighth grade,” Mehrings said. “It’s great to see the kids trying a new sport, and I want the kids to go out wherever they can and get used to swinging a golf club. Getting on the course and getting familiar with the game is really important because golf takes a lot of practice.”
While the four-day summer camp emphasizes fundamental improvements, players also work on mechanical adjustments such as gripping the club, improving balance and maintaining eye contact with the ball. Campers dive into their bags, using every club from putter to driver to practice a wide variety of shots including short-iron approaches, long-iron shots and drives off the tee box.
“We start off with shorter clubs to work on approach and bump-and-run shots,” Mehrings said. “We work on putting later in the week and we hit our drivers as well. We want to work on the fundamentals so that, when players go out on their own, they know how to make corrections and they can see improvements… The kids coming into high school need to have things squared away by August so they can be ready to play golf instead of working at golf.”