Golf 101: Start them young

Driving range owner Linda Henke offers golf lessons to kids in Arrow Lakes

Grandmother Linda Henke took up golfing when she and her husband opened the driving range in Nakusp. She has been teaching children to golf since retirement in 2011.

Trisha Shanks

Arrow Lakes News

Children in the Arrow Lakes have the opportunity to get their golf on thanks to an innovative and fun junior golf program offered by a local grandmother with a handicap of 8. For those who don’t play, the lower the number the better the golfer. According to golfsmith.com, men’s average handicap is 16 and ladies’ is 29, just to offer some context.

“I’m not a pro, but I am a pretty good golfer and I wanted to do something to encourage the younger generation to become involved,” golf instructor Linda Henke said.

Henke and her husband Richard own the Little Summit Driving Range, which is affiliated with the Nakusp Centennial Golf Club and open daily 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. between April to October. For $6., anybody can buy a bucket of balls and happily swing away for an hour or more amid a spectacular 360 degree mountain view. Clubs are also available to rent.

Henke has been involved with the junior golf program since retiring from her BCLC job in 2011. She is passionate about the game and hopes to inspire others to play. The lessons are $50 or $60 for four sessions, depending on the child’s skill level. The programs differ. Classes are small- four kids in each; beginners learn exclusively at the driving range. More advanced children start their sessions at the driving range and then go on to play 9 holes with Henke coaching on the greens. Henke tries to group friends together in the same lesson, “to encourage them to enjoy it and to make friends who golf so that they can play together for a lifetime.”

“We don’t always make it to the end, but that’s alright,” Henke explained. The students are getting used to playing a real game, how it works, golf etiquette and what the rules are.

“I hope that my drive turns the kids on. I want it to be fun for them. You can play anywhere at any time once you learn how. It’s a great skill to have,” Henke said.

The sessions are offered in May and June each year and sign up is available through Nakusp Elementary School.

 

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