NAHANT — Gary Lynch organizes the Nahant Golf Club’s annual youth clinics at Kelley Greens Golf Course with one fundamental goal in mind-teaching the game to a new generation.
“We’re trying to introduce these kids to the game,” Lynch said. “Sometimes it becomes a camp but it’s mostly about introducing them to the game. A couple of these kids have come back and we’ve had them for a few years.”
Lynch and the Nahant Golf Club run two clinics during the summer, the first of which ran this week. It started Monday and concluded Wednesday afternoon. The second youth clinic will run from August 12 through August 14.
“We have Jack Morrison helping out, who’s the Lynn Classical golf coach,” Lynch said. “It’s nice to have him helping us out, he used to be a golf pro. It’s a lot of fun. We had 16 kids this time and a dozen signed up for August. It’s just an introduction. A lot of it is about manners and etiquette, being comfortable on a golf course. That’s what I’m trying to do with them.”
Wednesday, Morrison worked with a smaller group of older golfers while Lynch honed in on the basics with a younger group.
“It’s pretty much the same with all of them,” Morrison said. “We try to teach them as much as we can in the short period of time but also have some fun with them. The difference with the older kids is that I’m looking for a little bit more. You can take the older kids and take it a little more serious and get to that next level.”
Getting the next generation involved in the game is a huge motivator for both Lynch and Morrison’s involvement.
“I caddied for my dad when I was 10,” Morrison said. “I’ve been in this business for a while. The game needs to be grown. Somebody taught me, somebody taught Gary and now it’s about continuing that. This is a sport, a lot of kids play hockey or baseball, but golf is something they can play for the rest of their lives.
“One thing that used to grow the game is caddying but we just don’t have that like we used to,” Lynch said. “The North Shore is fortunate with Tedesco and Kernwood that have some good caddy programs and that really helps grow the game.”
The clinic also provides a great way for the Nahant Golf Club to expand its reach in the North Shore community.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Lynch said. “You see a lot of familiar names and families. You get to start to know people in the community. That community stretches to Swampscott, Marblehead, Lynn, Lynnfield and even some from Peabody. That’s a big part of it. It builds the game.”
The youth golf clinic is just the start of many things the club has done to involve younger players, Lynch said.
“We have 20 free memberships for kids that live in Nahant,” Lynch said. “The first 20 that sign up we do the memberships for. Usually how we get them is they’ll come here and play and we’ll ask them if they want to sign up. There’s a little bit of restrictions, they have to call before they come play just so they don’t walk in during a tournament.
“We have kids here who go to Bishop Fenwick, St. John’s Prep and St. Mary’s involved,” Lynch said. “We also have younger kids here who just started playing golf. We do a lot with Swampscott Middle School too and the JV team comes out here a lot. We also have Salem State coming out here whenever they want to. Those are all zero charge.”
Upcoming tournament events for the Nahant Golf Club include the Club Championship on Aug. 11, a two-man best-ball tournament Aug. 18, a pre-Calcutta four-man best-ball Aug. 30, the Nahant Golf Invitational “The Calcutta” Aug. 31-Sept. 1. In the fall, the club hosts a three-man best-ball tournament on Sept. 15, a two-man Calcutta Oct. 5-6 and the year-end shootout Oct. 13.