Golf pro Laura Tyler and the Frosty Valley Resort received a grant from the Edward Rosenblum Fund to start the U.S. Kids Golf Program, the first program of its kind in the Susquehanna Valley.
The grant will provide funding for 31 sets of junior golf clubs, and will also be used to provide financial assistance to families may not be able to afford to send their kids to the camp.
“I wanted to make it available for all children, so I didn’t want finances to hinder them,” Tyler said.
Children who attend “are going to learn all aspects of the game,” according to Tyler. This includes game related aspects such as grip and stance, as well as the rules and etiquette of golf.
The U.S. Kids Golf Program is curriculum-based, and progress is shown by advancing through a series of levels up to Level 10. The summer program at Frosty Valley will teach levels one through five. Initial groups will be assigned based on age and skillset.
“At the end of each class, we have a pin ceremony,” Tyler said. “Once they complete one of the skills ... they get a pin and they put it on their hat. It’s a curriculum where they come in and they’re really excited and they want to get that particular skill done so they can get to the next level.”
Golf can often be slow moving, and boring to young kids full of energy, which Tyler combats by using game-based instruction.
“They’re playing as they’re learning,” she said. “We have a ton of games that we play, so they’re always playing some type of game and interacting with each other to make it fun. We’re not just standing there saying ‘This is your grip.’”
Tyler will be assisted by Bridget Mathias in order to help meet the U.S. Kids Golf mandated 1-to-6 teacher-to-student ratio.
“This is a great program,” Mathias said. “I love to be involved with programs that have really good curriculums, because I think it’s important when you’re teaching kids because they have to know where you’re going, what the plan is, and what you want the outcome to be at the end. The U.S. Kids Golf Curriculum is the best.”
Tyler and Mathias have previously run camps together at Frosty Valley, but mainly drew the children of members. The U.S. Kids Golf Program open up the opportunity for other children in the area to attend and learn the game.
The first camp will run from Tuesday through Thursday, with the option of a morning or afternoon session. At the end of the summer, it will transition to an after-school program.