Experience, fun and competition

Nich Wolak • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Troy Thom noticed that there wasn’t a natural path for young area players to high school golf, so he decided to do something about it.

The teaching pro at the Grand Haven Golf Club started a junior league for golfers who wanted to challenge themselves before reaching the high school level.

“There’s nothing,” Thom said. “There’s no pewee — like pee wee baseball and pee wee football — there’s nothing like that for golf. There are obviously junior tournaments and things, but that’s all on their own.

“I would rather see more kids involved in the Grand Haven area, and then eventually, I’m trying to get kids involved from Mona Shores, Muskegon, Spring Lake and then we can compete.”

The Grand Haven Junior Golf League, which concludes its four-week run on Wednesday, uses a points system to help players learn the finer points of the game. Points are added for things such as showing up on time, knowing how to score properly and identifying one’s golf ball, while actions like cursing, playing out of turn or not repairing a ball mark can lose points.

Thom says it’s all about preparing the players for the next level.

“A lot of these kids, they don’t have a clue,” Thom said. “By the time they get to high school, they don’t know the basic rules — then they’re having to take penalties and all that. If we can get these kids involved and show them the basic rules, at least they’re more experienced by the time they get there.”

That experience is just what Sam Hager said he was looking for.

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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