Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club driving effort for more junior players

Seeing new young golfers picking up the game is truly a great sight to see for Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club members.

Through the growing junior golf program, camps, clinics and individual and group lessons are available year round, teaching kids fundamentals and respect for the game that hopefully leads to a lifetime of enjoyment of golf. While the club has offered summer golf camps every season, there are more scheduled this year as there has been a lot of interest.

“The golf club has seen a tremendous response to our family-focused activities and events,” said Dottie Mulholland, golf club board of governors and house committee chairperson. “I recently watched a small group of youngsters, their bag of clubs as big as they were, happily scampering after golf instructor Scott Johnson.Very heart warming!”

All golf and Association members are welcome to sign up for the junior golf camps which will run through Aug. 26. The camps are run by Johnson, who has been a golf professional at the club for 31 years before being named the director of instruction last year, tasked with developing a comprehensive program at the club for all levels of play.

Assistant golf professionals Matt Gibbens, Tyson Colarelli and Ashley Huizing help lead the campers through their days.

The camps combine golf instruction, camaraderie and fun for beginner golfers between the ages of 6 and 13.

An advanced camp is available for golfers ages 9-16 on Aug. 16-19. The advanced camp includes playing lessons, on course competitions and video and launch monitor analysis.

For a group of beginners last week, the camp day began on the sun-soaked driving range under Johnson’s watchful eye. Decked out in their colorful gear, the kids whacked away at clusters of balls side-by-side with friends and siblings.

“Keep that left arm straight,” Johnson advised one of the youngsters last week, reminding another about their wrist position.

After working on the swings at the driving range, the group splits off with Johnson and the assistant golf professionals to improve on other aspects of play.

“We have a great short game area where the kids can work on their chipping and putting,” Johnson said.

Johnson said his young golfers are “wonderful” and show a great amount of focus when they are out on the course.

Some in the camp were on just their second lesson, others have been playing for two years. Young golfer Joanie said her favorite thing is playing in the RSF Golf Club scrambles with her whole family.

During the school year, the club offers after-school sessions two days a week. The club is also in its fourth year of its Junior Golf Team. Johnson said the team keeps growing and has been doing quite well—they just wrapped up the season, winning the last four matches.

Every month the club also holds family golf outings like the scrambles Joanie mentioned.

“We’re trying to make sure opportunities are there for those who want to take it up. We’re trying to expose as many kids in the Association to the game as we can,” Johnson said. “The club is very family-friendly. We can get juniors out here every day if they want to play.”

For more information, contact the golf shop at (858) 756-3094.