Ben Johannes recalled taking lessons through the River Oaks Jr. Golf Program for four years.
The Ceres resident will be a senior at Hughson High School this fall.
Ben will fill the top spot on the Huskies’ varsity boys golf team.
“I remember coming out here as a kid,” said Johannes, a third-year volunteer instructor. “It’s cool to be one of the teachers now. It’s a good experience for the kids. We give them a basic foundation of the game.”
Johannes worked with So You Are New To Golf (SNAG) students during the first day of the June 9-July 1 session of the 22nd Annual River Oaks Jr. Program.
Modesto’s Isaac Navarro (5) and AJ Burkett (4), Riverbank’s Zachary Williams (4), Oakdale’s Caleb Griskin (4) and Denair’s Reed Cornell (4) used lightweight golf clubs with over-sized heads and larger golf balls.
Focus was placed on coordination, balance and accuracy.
“It’s just nice because it’s an appropriate price and it keeps them busy during the summer so they don’t go bananas,” mother Jennifer Cornell said. “He (Reed) wants to be just like his brother (Davis). Golf teaches them all the right things.”
Cornell’s eldest son Davis, Williams’ older brother Blake, Griskins’ cousins Caden and Drew O’Neal of Modesto, Ceres’ Andrew Flores, Sam Johnson, Noah Johnson and Benjamin Maxson, and Hughson’s Madisen and Alyssa Thomas received instruction from beginner/intermediate volunteer coach Jim Marable.
“This is a good place for the kids,” said Oakdale’s Camille Nelson, Caleb’s grandmother and Caden’s and Drew’s aunt. “They learn etiquette and the basics. They teach them all kinds of stuff. I’ll sign them up for the next session, too.”
“It’s a commitment for the family,” said Bob Thomas, the father of Madisen and Alyssa. “We’re not going on vacation. They can have fun and meet other kids here.”
Marable lives in Ceres.
He coached boys and girls golf teams at Hughson High for 17 seasons.
“I’ve been here just about every year,” Marable said. “It gets the kids off the streets and they have a good time.”