MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Since 1986, the month of April has been designated as a time to honor military children and recognize the unique contributions and sacrifices they make while parents serve.
Keeping in spirit with the observance, Marine Corps Community Services hosted family golf short-game clinics at the Sound of Freedom Golf Course Saturday and Sunday to help families bond and enjoy learning a sport together.
“It is a great way for parents to spend quality time with their kids out on the golf course,” said Jim Ferree, Sound of Freedom Golf Course manager and a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association.
The clinics teach participants proper golf stance, swing and positioning.
“Today we worked on the short-game fundamentals, putting and chipping,” said Ferree. “They are learning how to hit the finesse shot that is right around the greens. Getting the right technique is critical. Then, with a little bit of practice, they will develop good hand-eye coordination with a good technique.”
While golf is a popular, ages-old sport, not everyone understands the game.
“We are trying to promote the game of golf,” said Ferree. “There are a lot of people that are interested in playing, but most people’s first experience with golf is that it is a very difficult sport so it can be very humbling and frustrating. If you can practice the right technique, you can improve and enjoy it.”
Gunnery Sgt. Jason G. Forguson attended a clinic with his son and said he enjoyed spending the time with his family.
“It definitely gives me and (my son) something to do together for a change, rather than just playing video games or hanging out around the house,” said the Marine Air Control Squadron 2 air traffic control training chief.
Being in a military family, moving from place to place and family separations can be tough on children of service members. Forguson said opportunities like this help military children feel supported and reinforce family bonds.
“A lot of conversations happen when you are out doing stuff like this, away from mom,” he said. “It’s important to have those father and son conversations, and this is a good way to accomplish that and build a relationship.”
Two family golf long-game clinics are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday from 3-4 p.m. at the Sound of Freedom Golf Course. Registration is $5 per family. For more information, call 466-5493 or 466-3044.