Topgolf Summer Academy Teaches Kids Fundamentals of the Game
The game of golf can sometimes be frustrating. That’s especially true when you’re not trained on the proper technique to swing your club.
“There are some things about it that are definitely unnatural,” said Scott Erickson, Topgolf’s lead golf instructor. “Most people want to just grab it and swing over the top, but the correct way is a little unnatural, so it is something you want to learn.”
Erickson is taking on the monumental task of teaching kids the mechanics of the sport during Topgolf’s Summer Academy.
“Basically a lot of the kids, it’s their first time touching a club when they get here on Monday,” Erickson said. “So by the time Friday rolls around, I start to see a little bit of progress. It’s pretty fun.”
Every week, a new batch of children make their way to this entertainment venue in Brooklyn Center for three hours of instruction, five days a week.
Seven-year-old Mya Peterson is one of the camp participants.
“I want to be a golfer when I grow up,” Peterson said.
In order for the game to thrive, it’s important for kids to develop a love of the game. Erickson is doing his best to make that happen.
Teaching Proper Mechanics
“It’s nice to start with lessons so you learn the right way, instead of developing years of bad habits in yourself before you take a lesson,” Erickson said.
But they can’t fall in love with golf if they don’t learn the fundamentals. So over the course of the week, the kids work on a variety of skills, from launching balls into the stratosphere, to putting.
“Oh yeah we learn the short game, we got the short targets here, the red targets are very close to us,” Erickson said. “So we spend a lot of time trying to drill them into the red target.”
The hope is that by the end of the five-day camp, the kids will feel comfortable enough to join their families at a golf course for the real thing.
“Because it’s cool and it’s fun,” Peterson said.
Meanwhile, Erickson is happy to do his part to make sure the rest of the kids feel the same way.
“This is the time to get them in,” Erickson said. “If you start them early, they grow up, they fall in love with it early, and they play it the rest of their lives.”
Topgolf’s Summer Academy runs through next week. There are still spots open for the final week of camp, which begins Aug. 19.