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River Oaks offers lessons for 23rd summer
Silva hoping to improve future enrollment
About 125 boys and girls took lessons through the River Oaks Jr. Golf Program, including Modesto youngster AJ Burkett. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

A total of 125 boys and girls, aged 5-17, signed up for the 23rd Annual River Oaks Jr. Golf Program.

"We've been doing this for a long time," said Greg Silva, veteran teaching pro. "I still believe we have the best junior golf program in the Central Valley. We set the program up years ago for all walks of life."

The second session was staged July 14 to Aug. 5.

The first session was held June 9 to July 1.

Cost ranged from $30 to $85 per session.

"I was disappointed with the turnout," Silva said. "It was way down. At one time, we maxed out at 550 kids. We just got to do a better job marketing it. It's going to be a big focus this year."

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.

Enrollment has dwindled over the years. "I want to see it get back to 250-300 kids," Silva said. "We can do that. It would mean everything to me. Next year, we're going to advertise earlier."