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Sixty Children turn out for golf clinic

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Lady Golf Pro, Ann Laughlin, at the Double Arrow Golf Resort helping the kids.

June 22, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

Story & photos by
Donna Love

Sixty children, ages six to seventeen took part in a Junior Golf Clinic last week in Seeley Lake at the Double Arrow Golf Resort. Four one-hour lessons were held from 8:00 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. The lessons ended with a golf tournament on Friday. Junior and senior high school students played nine holes, middle school students played six holes and the younger children played three holes. After the tournaments the resort provided a barbecue lunch.

Ann Loughlin, a new staff member at the golf course, taught the lessons. Ann is a Class A LPGA/PGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association/Professional Golf Association) Golf Professional. She moved here from San Jose, California where she was the head teaching professional at Vista Oaks Golf Center. She was hired by Double Arrow to teach and perform other golf professional duties.

Ed Bezanson, Director of Golf for the Double Arrow said he is happy to have Ann here. The golf course is expanding from nine to eighteen holes next year and they needed more personnel to handle the growing needs of the course. As it stands now, the new driving range and practice sand trap will be completed and open for use in July of this year.

Bezanson feels there is a growing need in the community for children's golf lessons. "Golf has grown nationally and it is a great opportunity for the children to learn more about the sport," Bezanson said. He views the programs as training grounds for future golfers. "Kids can receive college golf scholarships in high school, too," Bezanson said. The Double Arrow Golf Course supports the Seeley-Swan High School Golf Team. This year Bryan Barthelmess received a scholarship for college from Miles City Community College.

Bezanson is also glad to have a LPGA member here. The number of women athletes in the sport of golf is growing. He feels Ann will be a great role model for the girls in the children's lessons as well as good for the community.

Ann said she loved teaching the lessons and added that "The kids in Seeley are all excited and enthusiastic about golf."

The kids enjoyed taking lessons from Ann, too. Megan Rose, age 11, said, "She is a nice, happy person. She is always cheery." Jessa Lindford, age 12, said, "She's nice. I like that." Andrea Teague, age 10, said, "She was patient when she taught us new things."

The children also learned a lot from her. Ryan Teafoe, age 14, said he can "hit it to the fence now." Jamie Adams, age 13, said, "I learned that my clubs are too small for me. My dad's going to buy me new ones." A.J. Love, age 8, said, "I learned how to chip." And Micheala Dunlap, 13, summed it up when she said that at golf lessons she "learned how to play golf."

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