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Silva strives to boost participation rate
River Oaks offers lessons through Junior Golf
Ceres Andrew Flores works on his swing with help from River Oaks Jr. Golf Program volunteer instructor Robert Schmidt last summer. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Veteran teaching pro Greg Silva is trying to boost enrollment for the River Oaks Junior Golf Program.

"We didn't know if we were going to be able to do it this year," Silva said. "The fliers didn't get mailed out until two weeks ago. Signups are very low. We need to find different ways to get the word out. We'll still run it even if we have two to three kids in each class."

The River Oaks Jr. Golf Program is open to boys and girls, ages 5-17.

The first session will be staged June 9 to July 1.

The second session will run, July 14 to Aug. 5.

Cost is $30 for So You Are New To Golf (SNAG) participants. Youngsters (5-7) use lightweight golf clubs with over-sized heads and larger golf balls. They focus on coordination, balance and accuracy during Tuesday and Thursday night classes.

Cost is $45 for beginners, which pays for seven one-hour classes and free range balls Monday through Friday.

Cost is $65 for intermediates, which includes seven lessons, range balls and free play on the front nine.

Cost is $85 for advanced (seven lessons, range balls and access to all 18 holes).

Rob Phipps established the River Oaks Junior Golf Program over 20 years ago with assistance from Silva. Rob was the club's general manager until he passed away unexpectedly at the age of 44 in December of 2007.

More than 6,000 area youth have been introduced to the sport of golf through their creation.

"Nobody had any public junior golf programs back then," Silva said. "Ours was the first. Our job is to try to build it up again. We're confident we're going to do it. We just have to do a lot of advertising and get the word out there."

For more information about the Jr. Program, contact Silva at 667-7272.