Little tykes teeing off

LIHUE — Glenn Tamagawa, the acting professional at the Puakea Golf Course, said there is room for junior golfers of all skill levels on Tuesday.

“We have 30 golfers here today, the opening day of the junior golf academy,” Tamagawa said. “No matter what skill level, they won’t be left out, or feel like they missed something.”

The junior golf academy opened Tuesday and will run for six weeks from 8 a.m. to noon. Participants have the option of taking the full six weeks, or selecting the weeks they want to participate in.

“This is a good program,” said Cammy Moku who has two of her sons enrolled. “My oldest boy has been coming for three years, and his younger brother is coming for the first time. I’ve watched this program grow from the early years when they only had maybe 9, or 10 youngsters. Today, there’s almost 30 golfers and they’re all over this place.”

Moku said she’s watched youngsters who took the program continue with the sport.

“I’ve seen kids who started with this program,” the mother of 3-year-old Zoey who could not contain her excitement. “After the program, they enrolled in the Kauai Junior Golf Association and ended up winning first place in two tournaments.”

Hunter Oligo is a first-year golf academy player.

“I’ve been playing for about three years,” Oligo said. “This program is pretty good. Today, I did putting with the other kids. I was wondering about the KJGA program, but didn’t join. I was thinking about it, though.”

Tamagawa said this year’s academy features seven different “helpers” to allow more personalized attention to the aspiring young golfers, the helpers coming from both the KJGA program and the Kauai Interscholastic Federation.

Later in the week, Tamagawa said he had a surprise guest to keep the young golfers’ mind on the game, but giving it a new twist.

Dylan Jimenez said he’s been coming to the junior golf academy for three years, now.

“This is alright,” he said. “It’s good because they try to teach you everything.”

The academy starts at $60 a week. Call 245-8756 for more information.

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