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Getting Youth on the Greens

Golf under iconic Mount Begbie at the Revelstoke Golf Club.
Golf under iconic Mount Begbie at the Revelstoke Golf Club.

The game of golf is one of respect, patience and life lessons – one day you’re on the green, the next, in the ditch. “You can play the same hole every day, but it’s going to be different each time,” said junior golfer Joel Thur, 19, at my recent visit to the Revelstoke Golf Club.

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Kyle Lenzi (left) and Joel Thur enjoy growing their skills at the Revelstoke Golf Club. Photo: Emily Kemp

He and his best friend Kyler Lenzi, 18, are both avid golfers. Thur picked up the game four years ago at the encouragement of his dad. So that meant Lenzi, who has been his sidekick since kindergarten in Revelstoke, had to as well.

Now the pair head to the Revelstoke Golf Club course to get outdoors and test their skills whenever they have a chance.

“I love it, it’s challenging, something different every day and it keeps you active,” Thur said.

“I have quite a few friends that golf. We just come out and play nine holes when we can, it’s pretty simple we don’t really keep score — we just have fun.” Lenzi has a bit more of competitive spirit and enjoys the techniques needed to play on the course.

“It does challenge you a lot with the trees, and narrower fairways,” he said. “You gotta hit some pretty good shots to stay out of the trees.

Revelstoke Golf Club youth focus

Getting the youth, who are the future of the Revelstoke Golf Club, into golf is a focus the club is trying to encourage.

Rates are affordable, the club has a friendly and relaxed vibe, and the scenic setting is one that most golf clubs could only dream of.

“It’s beautiful,” Lenzi said. “If you’re not from here, for sure, your mind would be blown by the glacier views and the river flowing adjacent to the Revelstoke Golf Club.”

For the 2016 season, the Revelstoke Golf Club course is in peak condition, thanks to mild spring conditions that allowed maintenance staff to prepare it early. As the season ramps up, club director Dean Jackson is hoping to see a number of new faces on the course.

Jackson is passionate about the sport, coming from a family with a long line of golfers. He was introduced to golf at age three.

“I played every team sport out there, but I always came back to golf,” Jackson said.

The Revelstoke Golf Club Clubhouse is nearby the Columbia River in Revelstoke.
The Revelstoke Golf Club Clubhouse is nearby the Columbia River in Revelstoke.

“My parents would drop me off a 7 a.m. and pick me up at 7 p.m,” he said. “They weren’t doing it for daycare, I just loved to be there.”

“I was fortunate enough to get pretty decent at the game, and was able to turn pro at 18. And I haven’t looked back.”

Jackson is one of the instructors available at the Revelstoke Golf Club. He enjoys helping locals get better at their swing and is enthusiastic to introduce, and share, his love of the sport.

Jackson describes golf as not only growing skills in technique, but a sport that teaches youth important social skills such as respect and manners, particularly in being around and getting to know the adult membership of the club.

“It’s a fun atmosphere to be part of, for kids to learn,” Jackson said. “It’s an individual game but played with other people. So the respect, the etiquette, the disciplines are all factors of golf.

“There is a lot of etiquette to the game, it teaches them life skills in general. There’s proper ways to act out here but you can always have fun.”

Revelstoke Golf Club general manager and director of golf Dean Jackson has played since he was three-years-old. Photo: Emily Kemp
Revelstoke Golf Club general manager and director of golf Dean Jackson has played since he was three-years-old. Photo: Emily Kemp

Now a dad with an eight-month-old daughter, Jackson is mildly hopeful his offspring will follow in the golfing tradition.

“If she wants to play we’ll definitely introduce her,” he said. “I think that’s the cliché of all parents.

“There are a lot of opportunities for girls in this sport.”

The Revelstoke Golf Club is becoming a vibrant place to be and the club encourages a quick pace of play so people can get on with their day. The fun atmosphere, and low entry rates, is attracting a younger demographic.

“If you go onto any other golf website, we’re lower than any of them,” Jackson said. “That’s just to attract the younger golfer because they are the future of our club and the game.

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