ROCKFORD — Rochelle head golf coach Glen Mehrings brought five players to Rockford’s Aldeen Golf Club on Monday to tee off the annual RTHS golf camp, which runs through Thursday.
Players worked on their short game during Monday’s camp session, and as the week progresses, campers will hone other important golf skills including putting, driving, iron play and more. Players spent time working as a group on Monday, with Mehrings also giving campers individual attention to focus on certain skills.
“The kids are trying to use their athletic abilities to get the ball from Point A to Point B,” Mehrings said. “They absorb a lot of knowledge and they’ll hit a lot of different shots over these four days. They’ll see some improvements and I think kids learn so much faster than adults. It’s great to see the kids want to learn.”
The Aldeen Practice Centre allows Mehrings and the campers to work in different capacities, and on Monday the campers focused on the components of chipping including hip rotation, eye contact, balance, grip and more. Players lined up around 30 yards from the practice green and aimed at various flags.
“We worked on wedge play around the green,” Mehrings said. “I liken the short game to basketball in that, if you can’t make your 5-footers, then you can’t just run out to the 3-point line and make those type of shots. Form, stance and posture plus grip and alignment are things the kids have to pay attention to in order to consistently line up to the ball and strike the ball.”
While much emphasis during camp is placed on learning the physical skills to play golf, Mehrings said that building confidence and enjoying the game are two major goals of the camp as well. The Rochelle golf team will return to action this fall, and with some of the campers eligible to compete with the program either this year or next year, Mehrings said the camp is a way for players to apply their newly-learned skills to playing either in their free time or for the high school team.
“The kids are only limited by how much they want to practice,” Mehrings said. “I want the kids to gain an idea of where they need to improve and how much they need to improve so they can go out on their own and make strides.”