We are at that time of year where junior golf camps begin popping up throughout courses around the nation. It’s an awesome sight to see, and it’s perhaps the most important event that golf courses will hold throughout the year. Junior golf camps are important on a couple of fronts. One, they provide parents with a small break in their schedules. Let’s face it, all of you parents can appreciate the idea of dropping your children off at the golf course for a few hours during these summer months. It’s a place where they will be safe, and you can have some quality time with yourself. More important, however, is that junior golf camps provide junior golfers with an opportunity to socialize with friends, enjoy the idea of being at a golf course, and hopefully learn a few fundamentals to help them become better players. I have been involved with junior golf camps for over 30 years now. One thing that I have learned is that the camps need to be fun, otherwise you will quickly lose the attention of the juniors. The most recent camps I have been involved with have included hitting golf balls at aluminum kitchen trays strung across the practice range, running through sprinklers and forming teams for fun competitions. One of the greatest challenges I continue to face as a golf professional is keeping the game fun. At some point in my golfing life, golf became less fun and more stressful. I am determined to change this attitude, and staying involved in junior golf camps makes this much more likely. Junior golfers share an enthusiasm that is contagious. To see a group of juniors walking away with their parents at the end of the day and expressing how excited they are to return the next day is priceless. That’s what this is all about. Golf has been in a downward spiral for several years now. Private clubs are struggling to maintain members, while existing public facilities are constantly running specials to attract more players off the street. Junior golfers are the future of this amazing game, and it’s important that golf camps continue to provide a fun and exciting atmosphere. If you ever have an opportunity to volunteer your time at a local junior golf camp, I would highly suggest doing so. Not only will you be contributing to the future of our game, but you might rejuvenate a spark within your own game, as well.