With the kiddos heading back to school shortly, the Metropolis Country Club junior golf program ended its season this week.
Wednesday had the juniors playing their year-end tournament, and last week the kids had the chance to play under the watchful eyes of some seasoned veteran golfers in a "Drive, Chip and Putt" clinic.
The clinic was set up after the national program, and it also gave the participants the chance to receive some one-on-one instruction from a crew that consisted of MCHS boys golf coach Gary Adkins, Craig Armstrong, Price and Madalynn Coakley and MCHS Lady Patriot and soon to be SIU Saluki Millie Lawson.
While the competition may have intimidated the littlest golfers a bit, it seemed to go over well, and our overarching goal with the little guys is to instill a love for the game in them and encourage them to play for the rest of their lives. If they get good enough to play in high school or even college, so much the better.
With a large disparity of age and skill level, overall scores were rendered a little meaningless but some noteworthy things were observed.
On the driving "range," Elise Coakley and Luke Maurer both ripped drives of over 200 yards. Coakley hit a bomb that measured 243 yards for honors off the tee.
Grayson Quint and Olivia Heine shone in the chipping competition with Hannah Rojas and Jordan Forthman also turning in nice jobs. Coakley also got two of her three attempts close to the hole.
The putting green is a place where kids don't usually spend a lot of time, and it generally shows but this group didn't follow the norm.
The fifth and sixth grade girls all made a six-footer and rolled the mid-range putts [12'] really well. The littlest ones did well on the short putt and then were overwhelmed by the long putt [30'].
Hannah Heine rolled in her six footer, rolled in her 12-footer then tightened up a little on the long one. But on the short one and the mid-range attempts, she was "money."
The long putt provided the clinic's drama on the green as Luke Maurer faced the last attempt of the day from 30 foot. With not a single putt going in from that distance, Maurer put himself in a baseball situation. Bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth inning and trailing by three runs. Son, you need a home run.
Maurer rapped the ball, and it tracked straight into the cup.
We hear it all the time about the Massac County golf program, "How long can it be this good?" My answer is "a good long time."
And one more thing from the Country Club. The MCHS Patriot golf program fundraiser last week was another successful one. Coaches Adkins and Glass [boys, girls] reported that there were over 20 teams entered and around 50 hole sponsorships sold.
One more tidbit from the fundraiser -- Brock Willmes, his English teammate from Rend Lake Jack Pring, another RLC teammate Nate Neal and Lady Patriot and soon to be SIU Saluki Millie Lawson broke the stranglehold on the tournament title held by teams captained by David Glass.
Glass, Craig Armstrong, Jerry Throgmorton and Seth Arthur shot a sizzling 54 but were matched by the Willmes team and were beaten on a score card playoff.