Golf instructor Val Beebe helps Abigail Bethell with her putting stroke at last Thursday’s SNAG (Starting New at Golf) lesson at the Hope Golf Club. Beebe is offering lessons for kids as young as four years old and she hopes to run her six-week sessions throughout the summer.

Golf instructor Val Beebe helps Abigail Bethell with her putting stroke at last Thursday’s SNAG (Starting New at Golf) lesson at the Hope Golf Club. Beebe is offering lessons for kids as young as four years old and she hopes to run her six-week sessions throughout the summer.

Golf lessons reinforce life skills

New weekly program available in Hope fro kids aged four to 15

Golf skills — and a good dose of life skills. That’s what instructor Valerie Beebe has in mind for the young students that are taking her weekly classes at the Hope Golf Club.

Beebe, who travels up from Chilliwack on Thursdays, is working with kids from age four through 15 in three groups: newcomers, transition-to-golf and league play.

While prepping her group of league players before they headed out on the course last Thursday, she tells them they would be doing a round under the guidance of pro shop manager, Mike Richmond.

“When you meet him, I want you to shake his hand and tell him your name,” she coaches the young lads.

And when Richmond appears, the boys do as they were instructed.

Life skills… reinforced on the golf course.

As a favour to any other golfers who may be using the course when the juniors are on it, Beebe has the players make their opening tee shots at 150 yards from the green to speed up their game. As they progress in their play, she says, they will gradually work their way back to the tee boxes.

“Be ready,” she tells the boys. “Don’t make other people wait. That’s the number one complaint about juniors.”

Beebe shows the boys how to choose the order of opening tee-offs by spinning a tee and seeing who it points to.

She watches the first shots, then leaves the foursome under Richmond’s care and returns to the driving range, to set up for the age four to eight SNAG (Starting New at Golf) group.

Due to the Rick Hansen celebration, numbers are down from the normal nine, so Morgan Lebsack, and Ryan and Abigail Bethel will be getting extra individualized attention from Beebe.

Before they can even take a whack at a ball, Beebe has a chat with them about what they learned last week.

“What was that big word?” asks Beebe.

After some time, Abigail comes up with “etiquette” and the boys add that they need to be respectful and use their manners on the golf course.

Beebe bubbles with pride. These kids can go to the top of the class.

Abigail’s mom, Yvette, is amazed as well.

She says she only heard about the lessons by chance, when they came to see the classic car meet that stopped in at the golf course a few weekends ago.

“I’m not a golfer and I was surprised that my kids wanted to take lessons — but they’re loving it!” says Yvette.

Back to the lesson, Beebe has each child stand in a round hoop called a ‘clock.’ The clock has markings on it to guide the children in their strokes. Being in the clock ensures that they are a safe distance from other golfers, once the clubs begin to swing.

The kids practice stroking with imaginary clubs in their hands, then they get their SNAG clubs and clip a little brush onto lower end of the shaft. The brush extends slightly below the club head, so the kids can practice lightly brushing the ground as they swing.

Once they get a feel for that skill, the brushes come off and they get to hit some balls. The SNAG balls are colourful tennis-sized weighted balls that stick nicely to the velcro targets that are part of the SNAG system.

In each lesson of the six-week program, Beebe intends to introduce a character trait that will help the kids when they play the game — and when they step off the course and into the rest of their lives.

“I use words like honesty, integrity, loyalty, pride and courage and I ask the kids how they would implement these in the game and in life,” says Beebe.

Older players will improve their golf savvy by learning definitions, such as ‘addressing the ball’ and ‘water hazard’ and how they apply in the game, says Beebe.

“It’s a goal of the PGA to get one million kids involved in golf in Canada and the U.S.A. per year for the next ten years,” she adds.

Beebe hopes that she’s off to a good start in helping reach that goal — and she plans on offering the six-week programs throughout the summer, as long as the interest continues. The next sessions begin on June 21.

Fees range from $40 for beginners and the league play group needs to have a junior membership at the course, which costs $175 for the season.

Visit the course’s pro shop for more details, or call 604-869-5881.

Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Most Read