Junior program underway at Indian Creek

Local kids are learning golf basics in seven-week course

You know you’ve got something good when you have to turn people away.

But, as much as the folks at Indian Creek would like to include all the kids who are interested in the second annual Junior Golf Program, it simply isn’t possible.

“The student-to-instructor ratio has to be reasonable because we want the kids to learn something,” said Head Golf Pro and program director Harold Bluestein. “Any more than seven-to-one would be too much.”

Nearly 40 kids signed up for the second year of Junior Golf at Indian Creek. And with four accomplished instructors helping Bluestein and co-director Kevin Springer, the numbers seem to be just about right.

“There is a lot of interest in the community and even outside Hood River,” Bluestein said. “The kids love it, and from what the parents are saying, everyone who signed up is having a really good time.”

The Junior Golf Program started on June 23 and will continue every Monday until July 28. It will conclude on Aug. 4 with a Junior Club Championship, in which participants will compete in three different age groups.

The program is open to kids ages 7-17, and there is no skills requirement to sign up. The only rule is that a player must be a minimum of 7 years old.

“Any younger than that and you’re inviting potential problems,” Bluestein said. “We need to be able to keep the kids’ attention, and age 7 is when they start to show a genuine interest in how to play golf the right way.”

Bluestein and his host of instructors — Greg Ott, David Sword, Trinidad Cardenas, Mark Daly and Springer — are out to teach kids the fundamentals, rules, etiquette and positive values of golf, so they can begin putting them into practice.

In addition to teaching kids proper techniques of driving, putting, chipping and more, the instructors are also trying to encourage the broadening of friendships and social skills on and off the course.

“Not everyone out here has played golf before,” Bluestein said. “There are even a few high-school kids who are playing for the first time. But we just want to spark an interest and show them how fun golf can be for people of all ages.”

Bluestein says he hasn’t seen many of the high school team members on the course yet this summer, but went on to say that he knows how busy high school kids are during the summer.

But, when they do decide to turn out, youth golfers are reminded that Indian Creek offers junior-rate green fees so kids can practice their skills at a reduced price. There is a minimum age requirement of 12. For more information, call Bluestein at 386-7770.

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Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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