(Looking for the latest camp info? The 2015 Summer Golf Camps Guide is now available.)
The transition from winter to spring golf season has been extremely slow to get moving, much to the dismay of eager area golfers. So while stuck inside waiting for the return of enjoyable course conditions, you might as well turn your attention to the transition from spring to summer, especially if there's a junior golfer waiting there beside you.
For adult golfers, summer means searching for weekend tee times, stocking up on new lightweight golf shirts and settling in for a post-round beer and cigar. For juniors, summer is a time to take their developing game to the next level under the guidance of local professionals.
Teaching pros across Long Island -- including some who have received national recognition for their work as golf and junior-golf instructors -- have developed summer camp programs that school young players in key fundamentals, the swing, etiquette and other aspects of the game. These golf camps offered at a handful of Long Island courses are designed to either put the first building blocks in place for newcomers or provide expert guidance for skilled juniors looking to enhance their abilities, all in a fun environment with contests, prizes and more.
The following is a basic overview of 2014 summer junior golf camps available and open for registration at various public courses around Long Island. For more information, follow the links below to the course websites and junior camp pages.
(Please note that this is not a complete list of Long Island summer golf camps. If courses or facilities in your area are not included here, contact them directly to learn about any available camps, clinics and instructional programs.)
Crab Meadow: The High School Development Program is a unique instruction and competition experience designed for the intermediate player looking to advance his or her game. On-course play includes lessons in course management, short game, reading greens, club selection and bunker play, as well as head-to-head match competition. Three-hour sessions take place on Thursdays in July and August. Cost for the program is $375 (green fees included). Call (631) 499-8005 for additional program info.
Dix Hills Park: Basic Program open to junior players from age 6 to 14 with limited or no golf experience. The program stresses safety, rules and etiquette through games and contests in a fun atmosphere. Club Division open to boys and girls who are ready for on-course instruction and play. Campers in this program receive advanced instruction and are introduced to various competition formats. Six-week sessions take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and begin the week of July 8. (Club Division is Thursdays only.) Cost is $325 (Basic)/$350 (Club). Visit the junior golf program page for more info.
Gold Coast Golf Center at the Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course: A total of 12 weekly sessions are available beginning in June. Half-day camps for kids age 5 to 7 focus on fundamentals in an environment designed to foster development and interest in the sport. A transitional camp, which includes on-course play, is open to golfers from age 8 to 10. Full-day camps include on-course instruction and are open to juniors age 10 and up. Also available is a travel camp that is geared toward intermediate players and those who compete in tournaments or school play. Other programs and discounts are available. Call (516) 682-4776 or visit the registration page for full camp info.
Harbor Links Golf Course: All camps begin the week of June 30. Weekly programs for kids age 6 to 9 run Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and include games and drills that help develop important skills and fundamentals. Separate programs for teens age 10 to 16 are split into AM and PM sessions and run Monday to Friday. These cover the full swing, short game, course management, rules and etiquette, and conclude with a two-day "Junior Scramble" team tournament. Cost is $450 for the 6-9 camp and $585 for the 10-16 camp, with discounts available for family and friends. For all program information, schedules and registration forms, visit the Harbor Links website.
Holbrook Country Club: One-hour sessions offered every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to noon, and Wednesdays through Fridays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., starting in July. Juniors can attend any six sessions for $175; no reservation necessary. For more, visit Holbrook's Junior Golf page or contact Rob Callahan at (516) 695-1464.
Indian Island Country Club: Weekly full-day camps include lunch, prizes, skills contests and on-course competition. Camps are open to boys and girls of all skill levels between the ages of 7 and 16. Fees are $495 per week, per camper, with family, returnee and multi-week discounts available. Sessions begin June 30 and last through August. See the Indian Island camp brochure for all details.
Island's End Golf & Country Club: Weekly sessions begin July 8 and are open to intermediate and advanced junior golfers age 10 and up (younger players with high skill levels will be accepted). Programs run Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., with an extra hour on Friday for on-course instruction. All campers receive a junior golf gift. Cost is $200 for each week-long session. Visit the Island's End website for more information.
Long Island Golf Camps / Mike Reilly Golf Academy: Long Island Golf Camps runs programs at two public courses -- Peninsula Golf Club (Massapequa) and Sumpwams Creek/E. Donald Conroy Golf Course (Babylon). The Peninsula camp is a week-long, full-day program (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with sessions beginning June 23. It includes instruction on different aspects of the swing, daily lunch, on-course play and a Friday tournament. Babylon camps run Monday to Friday and are split into AM and PM programs. Instruction takes place on the course and short-game area. Enrollment is $550 for the Peninsula camp and $239 for the Babylon camp. For schedules and registration, and for information on a third camp program held at the private Colonial Springs Golf Club, visit the Long Island Golf Camps website.
Mill Pond: Camps are available in 3-day and 5-day sessions beginning the week of July 8. The shorter programs are beginner-oriented with a focus on fundamentals for new players. Juniors with some playing experience will receive instruction on course management, rules and etiquette. Week-long programs are geared to more experienced juniors, with course instruction included during the last two days. Cost is $160 (3-day) and $240 (5-day), with $20 discounts for Town of Brookhaven residents. Visit the Mill Pond website or call (631) 732-8249 for info on registration, schedule and program format.
Poxabogue Golf Center: A total of ten sessions run from the week of June 23 to the week of August 25. Sessions are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and are open to boys and girls from age 7 to 16. Campers will learn basics of the full swing, short game, course management, rules and etiquette, and will receive a hat, snacks and giveaways. Cost is $349 per session. See the camp application for details.
Smithtown Landing Country Club: Five different camp programs led by PGA professional and Hall of Famer Michael Hebron begin the week of June 30 and run until late August. Morning sessions take place weekly from 8:30 to 1:00 and an afternoon session (on Mondays) meets from 2:00 to 5:30. Campers receive a shirt and will get to play on Smithtown Landing's par-3 course. Enrollment ranges from $345 to $495, with discounts available for family and multiple sessions. Visit the course website or check out the camp application form for more details.
Spring Lake Golf Club: Four-day camps will take place on July 21-24 (age 8 to 11) and July 28-31 (age 12 to 14). Each day begins at 10:00 a.m. with instruction on the range and putting green, followed by lunch and on-course play until 2:30 p.m. Cost is $225. Contact Spring Lake pro Cristy Jurgens at (631) 924-5115.
Stonebridge Golf Links: Three different programs are available for beginners through intermediate players. Half-day sessions are geared to beginners age 6 to 9 and focus on fundamentals, rules, etiquette and course/club basics. Full-day camps help experienced players age 10 and up improve on skills and knowledge through on-course play and instruction. Weekly camps meet on four consecutive Tuesday afternoons, with different aspects of the game covered each week plus on-course play. Cost is $120 for weekly camps, $200 for half-day and $350 for full-day. See the camp brochure for session schedules and registration info.
Timber Point Golf Course: Six-week Basic Program is designed for new players from age 7 to 10, and focuses on fundamentals, safety, rules and etiquette through fun games and contests. Club Division (four-week and eight-week programs available) is open to experienced juniors from age 11 to 15 and includes advanced instruction and on-course play. Basic and Club sessions begin the week of July 1 and run through mid-August. Call (631) 581-2401 or see the camp sign-up form for price, schedule and registration information.
West Sayville Golf Course: Eight-week programs (total of eight four-hour sessions) are available on Tuesdays through Fridays beginning July 8. Campers receive instruction at the range and on the course, with instruction concentrating on all aspects of the swing, including grip, stance and alignment, plus bunker play and video analysis. The $475 fee also includes shirt, hat and rule book. Visit the course website and download the camp registration form for more information.