By: Pat Winter
Golfers and casual observers of AP’s Sound Golf Links may have noticed some shorter than average golfers on the course over the past few weeks. These young golfers all have one thing in common. With them is golf professional Mary Wallace, instructing her golf academy students in the skills and
strategies they need to become successful golfers.
This is Mary’s first summer running golf camps here at Albemarle Plantation, but she is not new to the job. She gained golf camp experience running the summer golf youth program at Magnolia Greens in Wilmington, NC. Now, with the help of retired teacher and AP resident Sharon Allen and the crew from the Pro Shop, Mary has put together a program that is packed with golf activities and strategies delivered in a kid-friendly, safe, and skill-focused way.
Youth golfers, ages 6 to14, have two camp options. Day Camp runs from 9 a.m. until noon for four consecutive days. These three-hour sessions are focused on getting the student golfers out on the golf course, playing 9 holes first thing each morning. Each day also has a skill focus like putting or chipping. Mary has limited the Day Camp sessions to 8 students, and her ratio is always 1 coach for each 2 students.
Evening Camp runs from 3 to 4 p.m. five days a week, and is a fun-filled introductory hour devoted to golf basics. It is scheduled to coordinate with the
OYC’s Youth Sailing Programs. This allows interested youngsters to sail in the morning and golf in the afternoon. These sessions are action-packed, and Mary and her coaching crew are expert at keeping our newest golfers involved and engaged. These sessions are limited to 10 children with 1 coach assigned to each 2 students to ensure their focus and success.
Mary, with Sharon’s help, has made the last day for all campers a special event. The students receive a Golf Academy tee shirt and a photograph of themselves in action on the golf course. All students also receive an award certificate designed just for them. No two certificates in any session are alike, as each one is given to celebrate the golfer’s individual participation and progress. Popsicles are also a much welcomed treat.
Pleased with the results of this summer’s camps, Mary’s enthusiasm for working with our beginning golfers is contagious. Her goal is to build a program that is the best golf camp for beginning golfers in all of eastern North Carolina. This summer she has welcomed future golfers from as far away as
Elizabeth City and Moyock. Looking ahead, Mary has posted the dates for next summer’s golf camps and is working on plans for a Christmas
golf camp during the month of December.