Getting out on the green
Golfer wants to share his passion with the next generation
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