XENIA — The 32nd Annual Miami Valley Junior Golf Camp finished June 21st at WGC Golf Course.
Thirty-nine boys and 10 girls participated by rotating through stations in order to learn the correct technique for hitting irons and woods and putting. They also were taught golf etiquette and the rules of golf.
Each day the campers got to apply what they learned as they played the course. The camp opened with Director Jim Beaver and Pro/Owner Garay Goecke paying tribute to Roy Cassidy, who founded the camp 32 years ago and passed away October 2017. Beaver praised Cassidy for all he did in all phases of his life including teaching and coaching.
“This camp he founded many years ago has touched many kids in helping them learn to play the game of golf. He has left a legacy which will live on for many years,” said Beaver.
Goecke talked about the many fine things Cassidy did for the community of Xenia. “… He was a great man,” Goecke said.
Half of this year’s camp attend the final camp Cassidy co-directed. A moment of silence was held in his memory.
The third day of the camp featured chipping, putting and driving competitions as the young golfers competed in age groups.
On the final day, a two-hole playing exhibition was held by the instructors who played a scramble. The instructors did quite well, making an eagle on a par-5 and a birdie on a par-4. The junior campers were the gallery, and several of them caddied for the instructors. Four caddies got to putt in the scramble. The eagle in the scramble was the second eagle of the week.
Camper Meredith Goecke holed out a 40-yard shot on the second hole for an Eagle 2 earlier in the week. Her instructor, Betsy Beaver Gegick, witnessed the shot.
Each camper received a golf hat and a certificate for completing the four-day camp.
“We had two hot days with temperatures in the 90s. Then it cooled off with some showers the last two days, but we were able to complete all our activities,” Beaver said. “The kids showed a vast improvement between the first day and the last.”
Pro John Wilkerson was the pro on the range all four days. He had guest pros Nate Combs and Matt Stotler with him earlier in the week. Both Nate and Matt are former pros at WGC and each came back for a day. Tyler Goecke, a senior-to-be at Carroll, volunteered on the driving range all four days. Area golf coaches Rick Pagniano and Shane Williams from Stebbins, Carroll girls coach Abby Merkle, Westerville girls coach Betsy Beaver Gegick, Middletown junior varsity coach Jake Williams, junior instructors Taylor McDowell and Jim Beaver, Jr., and golf course volunteers Rick Williamson and Mark Houser completed the veteran staff.
Special thanks to sponsors John and Tom Higgins, Brad Montgomery of Montgomery Insurance and Investments, as well as Gene Randall, Tim Currier, Luann McHarg, and John Grayson who contributed golf balls and equipment for the camp.
The Junior Golf League, for golfers ages 8-17 who have some golfing experience and want to play in the nine-hole format, is scheduled to start Wednesday, June 27 at WGC. Jim Beaver and Garay Goecke will run the league with several volunteers also assisting. The league will continue each Wednesday (except July 4) through the end of July.
More information can be obtained on the WGC Junior Link on the course website: wgcgolfcourse.com.
Story courtesy of Jim Beaver, Miami Valley Junior Golf Association. For more information about the junior golf program, please visit: wgcgolfcourse.com/junior-golf .