The new teaching pro at Hope Golf Course

Kids can learn golf for free

Ladies group arranges for Hope club pro to teach classes

It may be that there’s no such thing as a free lunch — but free golf lessons for kids? Well… it’s true.

The Ladies’ group at the Hope Golf Course has sponsored junior golf lessons by certified instructor, Valerie Beebe, the new teaching pro at local course. Lessons will be on Mondays, starting July 11 and running for seven weeks.

Tuesday Ladies’ Golf captain, Dodi Schiefermeier said on Monday, “I was asked by Claudette, the new course manager, to ask the ladies if they’d like to donate to the junior program. We voted on it and we were able to handle the sponsorship quite easily. We’ll also be having a sign-up sheet for volunteers to come out and assist with the lessons.”

Beebe, who grew up in Ottawa but is now a Chilliwack resident, started teaching golf seven years ago at the Kinkora club in Chilliwack. She’s also a certified skating instructor and a former coach of artistic and rhythmic gymnastics.

Her husband, Ross builds golf clubs under the Chimo Golf label.

“He builds the clubs and I teach people how to use them,” says Beebe. “I’ve taught kids as young as three years old and adults as old as 73.”

Beebe says she had never played the Hope course before she was invited to be the teaching pro here on a three-days-per-week basis. She will also continue her work at Kinkora, where she runs the junior program on Wednesdays. Due to high water, she still hadn’t played all nine holes, as of Monday.

“It’s going to be just beautiful out here this summer,” she enthused. “It’s going to be a great fit for me. I’ve met some of the ladies’ group and they’re very positive. It’s a great thing that they’re doing for the juniors.

“The lessons are all paid for by the ladies. It may not always be the case but that’s how it is this summer,” said Beebe.

“We’ll have the age 6 to 9 group from 3:15 to 4:00. I’ll call them the ‘Jiggers,’ because a jigger is an old golfing term for a wedge,” explained Beebe. “The age 10 to 17s will be from 4:30 to 6:00. I’ll call them the ‘Cleeks,’ as that’s an old word for a driving iron.

“I’ve put a limit of ten for the older group and maybe six for the younger ones,” she advised. “I’d like kids to sign up with Claudette at the pro shop ahead of time, if possible. That way we can plan for kids who need to borrow clubs. I will accept drop-ins while space is available — but without any advertising, there were already six kids signed up for the older group.”

A school teacher from Lytton has been bringing her students down to Hope on a bus for various activities, said Beebe, and when she heard about the lessons she wanted to sign them up. Understandably, that caused some concerns, as the lessons were intended for Hope youths.

“I’ve worked something out, though,” said Beebe. “I’ll be working with them for an hour, earlier in the day.”

Beebe and fellow teaching pro, Jennifer Greggain were in Hope on Monday to discuss an exciting learn-to-golf program for kids. Greggain lives in Rosedale and works at the Bridal Falls course.

There will be more details coming in August about their SNAG (Starting New at Golf) program, which will be offered through Hope and District Recreation in the fall. It has also been promoted to local elementary schools, so there may soon be a lot of local kids getting introduced to this life-long game.

To register your child for the junior golf lessons, phone the golf course at 604-869-5881, or drop by the pro shop during daylight hours. To contact Beebe directly, phone 604-819-5445.