As experienced by: Lauren Woody, age 11
By Lauren Woody and her mom, Ellen Woody
What a great way to spend a week of my summer! I fell in love with the game of golf — TopGolf style!
The coolest parts were: There were two cool things about this camp. First, they turned me into a “golfer.” I didn’t know anything about swinging a club when I started, but I can hit the ball about 100 yards now! Second, the coaches are amazing golfers and just so down-to-earth nice and patient that they made learning the game fun.
What I learned (and won’t soon forget!): I learned what the beginners learn — the right way to hold a club, where to place my feet, to keep my head down, and to keep my eyes on the ball. I know how to turn my hips with my swing, and I think I do a good job making contact with the ball. You can tell I learned some golf lingo too.
What I experienced: Every day I went to camp, my swing got better. But it wasn’t just me in the camp getting better, it was all of us — and that’s because we had great coaches. They motivate you to where you believe in yourself so much more than you ever imagined. My two coaches were Jason and Austin, and they were really good at hitting the ball. It made me want to work harder so I could hit the ball as well as they do.
Why I would recommend this to other kids: I would recommend this to other kids because it is a great way to learn golf without having to spend all your time on a driving range in the summer heat. Instead, the camp is three hours under a roof and out of the hot sun. There are misting fans that keep you cool, and they provide drinks and great snacks every day.
Beside that, it is a really neat place that almost feels like you are in a video game learning because it tracks your ball and tells you what target you hit and the distance of the ball. Then you score points in the game.
Adult perspective: Desiring to introduce kids to the game of golf, TopGolf offers this weeklong camp to teach the fundamentals, and practice, of the golf swing. With two coaches and 12 kids in the camp, the coaches were able to move easily between the bays and observe each kid — directing before, and making suggestions after, the swing.
Jason Faller, PGA apprentice, who has taught for 10 years (and in 2010 had two wins on the mini-tours and several top 10s), and Austin Stewart, who received a college full-ride golf scholarship beginning fall 2011, were great teachers. They motivated with humor and praise and shared their own golfing stories, revealing their practice habits and special techniques. Additionally, a friendly competition between (bay) teams at the end of each day was fun for the kids. They cheered each other on and carefully watched to see how far each ball traveled. The coveted brown pin was a bit out of their reach, but the excitement of reaching the green, red, or blue pins was celebrated with high-fives and echoes of “nice shot!” and “good job!” that reflected the good sportsmanship that had been cultivated along with the golf swings.
By the end of the week, Lauren had established a good solid swing and, because she had done so well and really enjoyed herself in the camp, we purchased a TopGolf Family Membership. It is a great deal for the golf enthusiast who wants regular practice with unlimited balls and lots of additional perks. As a family, it has been fun to golf together and certainly great practice time to reach for the top of our game. Lauren truly enjoyed the camp and will attend again next summer.
Details: TopGolf Camp is open to kids ages 6 to 16. The weeklong camps take place in the summer. From $199 per week. Clubs are provided. Water, lemonade, and snacks provided daily. topgolf.com