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First Tee of Troup County taking registration for summer camp

By Cole Trahan

There’s still time for kids ages five to 18 in Troup County and beyond to register for golf summer camps at the First Tee. The camps are designed to teach kids the fundamentals of golf such as putting, chipping, pitching, full swing, and game etiquette. Those interested can register online at firstteetroupco.org.

“You can sign up all the way to the first day of the first class,” said First Tee golf instructor Daryl Toney.

He clarified that the camps would even accept participants who missed the first day.

There are three camps for which children can register. The first runs from June 7 to 11, the second runs from June 28 to July 2, and the third is from July 19 to July 23. Each day, each camp runs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Each week costs $60 to attend.

Toney called Troup County’s chapter a “youth development center.”

“We do have a 9-hole, par-3 golf course. It was set up for the Troup County kids to have a place to play golf with no discrimination or anything. Our values are core-driven — life skills and job skills,” Toney said.

He estimated that First Tee – Troup County was established around 2004. He wasn’t sure when the golf camp started but guessed that it was over 10 years old.

On average, Toney estimates that there are 15 participants per camp.

“We always have a great time with our camps. We’ll have different levels, obviously. Some kids, they’re out here for the first time, and they’ll be in the learning stage. Other kids that are older are going to be more advanced. What we do is I have a couple of helpers, and we’ll separate the older kids from the little kids. So, it’s really organized where kids have a good time,” Toney said.

He said many kids come back year after year.

First Tee was established in 1997 to give affordable junior golf programs to communities that didn’t have them, according to the First Tee – Troup County website. The nonprofit organization aims to not only teach golf skills, but life skills. Its nine core values are honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgement.