• December 25, 2014

Aspiring young golfers get chance to play on Killeen course

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 4:30 am

For his birthday this year, 7-year-old Peyton Sprung wanted his own set of golf clubs.

Along with his new clubs, he also wanted to learn how to use them, and his parents happily obliged.

“I like to hit the ball really far,” he said. “And I like to get it in the hole.”

He may not be Tiger Woods just yet, but with a little coaching and some practice, the Master’s is the limits for this aspiring golfer.

The Harker Heights and Killeen Parks and Recreation departments joined forces with the Stonetree Golf Course in Killeen to give kids like Peyton the opportunity to try their hands at a different sport.

“I had been speaking with Sean Gilliland, who is the golf course superintendent, and he let me know that there is simply nowhere in the area for kids to compete in golf,” said Jeff Achee, Heights’ Parks and Rec’s athletic coordinator. “We figured that this would be a great time to offer younger children and teens the opportunity to gain some useful experience in golf competition.”

Registration for the league for children 7 to 15 ends June 18. The season tees off June 23 and wraps up Aug. 18.

“We are trying to expose him to a little bit of everything to see what sticks,” said Peyton’s mom, Alison Sprung. “It’s hard to play baseball and soccer with one person, and if he likes golf, its something he can easily do with his dad.”

Gilliland said the league will be set up in team format and tournament champions will be decided based on team performance. The season will consist of three tournaments, a drive, chip and putt competition, and practices once a week at the Stonetree Golf Course, where the players will receive some instruction from area coaches and course personnel.

Cost is $50 per player, which includes course fees, tournament shirt, lunch during tournaments and tournament prizes. Youth must have their own clubs.

“The price is just phenomenal for what you get. This is also the best time for him to learn the basics while being outside and staying active versus playing video games,” Alison Sprung said. “We are trying to raise well rounded boys, and with golf being a gentlemen’s sport, if he has the aptitude for it, its all the better.”

Gilliland said the goal behind putting together a youth league is to introduce the kids to golf and teach them how to play in tournaments.

“We want them to come out, learn how to line up a ball, swing a club and have some fun in a relaxed environment,” he said. “They will learn golf course etiquette, how to grip the clubs and the fundamentals of the game. Most importantly they will have fun learning something new.”

Coaches are still needed and a coaches’ meeting will be held at 5 p.m. June 16 at Stonetree Golf Course Club House, 1600 Stonetree Drive in Killeen.

Register online at https://apm.activecommunities.com/HarkerHeightsPR. For more information, call Achee at (254) 953-5657 or Gilliland at 254-220-0626.

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