Junior golfers get out on the green

Junior golfers will learn the fundamentals of the game while at camp but coaches say they'll also take on life lessons.

It's his last three months of freedom before going to college and Bryce Carper is using it to play his favorite sport.

"I've always been a big fan of golf," he said. "I like to play and practice a lot."

Carper will attend Western Illinois University this fall as a student and a member of the Men's Golf Team. He credits much of his success to the the Macomb Area Junior Golf Association's, Junior Golf Camp.

"It just gave me an opportunity to better myself and my skills to get me ready for the next step," he said.

Carper attended the camp for more than six years. Now he's a camp counselor.

"It's just nice to know I'm helping players with their game," he noted.

He's not the only camper turned counselor.

"I'm able to help the kids golf and I learn more about my golf game just helping them," Hailea Hadsall said.

Soon to be high school senior, Hadsall attended the camp for seven years before becoming a counselor. She wants to continue her career in college.

"It's great to see them go on and earn scholarships if that's what they want to do and see how golf can really take them places that they may not get to go if they weren't playing," Director of Golf Mel Blasi said.

The camp has been held for almost two decades. It teaches young golfers from fourth grade through high school the fundamental skills of the game (check out some drills the kids will perform at camp, here).

"You do full swing, pitching, putting, chipping and rules and etiquette and it's just really fun," third year camper Emma Thorman said

"Once you try it out it gets pretty addicting," junior camper Braedan Duncan said. "So you want to come out everyday."

But for these campers they're learning more than just putting.

"We learn about life skills," Thorman said.

"You're learning things like integrity and honesty and sportsmanship and those kind of things that are important in life, not just in sports," Blasi said.

Skills Carper will be taking to WIU next year. Using them on and off the green.

"It's a great game," he said.

The Junior Camp kicks off on June 11th. You can get more information, here.

Kristen worked on her swing while at the WIU Golf Course. Check it out, here.