Get­ting out on the green

Golfer wants to share his pas­sion with the next gen­er­a­tion

Central and North Burnett Times - - WEEKEND - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

GOLF: It’s been a long time com­ing, but Curtis Reid may have fi­nally laid some ground­work for get­ting Monto’s young peo­ple into golf.

Reid said get­ting kids into a se­date sport like golf could be a chal­lenge as, in his ex­pe­ri­ence, chil­dren were more in­ter­ested in tech­nol­ogy.

All the same, he is pas­sion­ate about get­ting young peo­ple out in the fresh air.

“I want to give them an op­por­tu­nity to come out to the golf course and ex­pe­ri­ence real golf,” Reid said.

“I’ve put in a lot of ef­fort in the schools through­out Monto and play­ing golf with the kids to get them into the idea of do­ing some­thing on a week­end.”

The lan­guages other than English (LOTE) teacher, who spent 15 years liv­ing in the con­crete jun­gles of Ja­pan, said play­ing golf helped you learn to ap­pre­ci­ate the open coun­try­side.

“We’ve got a beau­ti­ful coun­try course here with beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings full of life and I re­ally want to give kids the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence that, to feel that same pas­sion for it I do,” Reid said.

Reid, along with vet­eran Monto golfer Shane Tay­lor, has started hold­ing ju­nior lessons at the golf club every Satur­day morn­ing from 8am.

Tay­lor said the club had tried the ju­nior lessons be­fore, but in­ter­est tended to be light in small towns.

“You can’t force it on them, you’ve just got to find the ones in­ter­ested and help them out,” Tay­lor said.

“Even if they don’t go into golf un­til later on, it gives them that ground­ing.”

It’s early days yet, as the morn­ing ses­sions have only had two kids at a time.

On Satur­day, Monto State High stu­dents Cody Barnard and Ni­cholas Witcher came out to learn about putting and chip­ping.

Both had played about one or two games be­fore and were in­ter­ested in go­ing fur­ther with it.

“Orig­i­nally my dad wanted to take me and my brother to play and we re­ally liked it,” Cody said.

“I haven’t played for a long time and Mr Reid started do­ing th­ese golf lessons, so I came up here and started play­ing again.”

As far as ac­tu­ally get­ting kids into the ba­sics goes, Reid said it started with the grip.

From there on, it moves into drive prac­tice, putting, and even­tu­ally demo games.

“I can play the eight-hole well be­cause I can hit off the tee straight, and that’s what I want them to learn,” Reid said.

“I get tired of win­ning th­ese (golf) com­pe­ti­tions, I re­ally want th­ese kids to be the next gen­er­a­tion to come through and look after the club.”

Though the ju­nior lessons have been small, they are free of charge and equip­ment is pro­vided by the club.

Par­ents can also pay a green fee of $15 to play a nine-hole round while their kids prac­tise.

The ul­ti­mate goal is to raise enough in­ter­est so that the golf club can start call­ing out ex­pe­ri­enced in­struc­tors from the likes of Her­vey Bay or Bund­aberg to take lessons.

“It’s just about get­ting it started, giv­ing it that bit of oomph,” Reid said.

Curtis Reid in­structs Cody Barnard on his putting.

PASS­ING THE TORCH: Curtis Reid’s pas­sion is to get the next gen­er­a­tion into golf.

PHO­TOS: JACK LAWRIE

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