Rachael O’Reilly of Corner Brook poses for a photo while participating in last year’s Family Golf Day at Blomidon Golf and Country Club. — Submitted photo
Rachael O’Reilly is always open to trying her hand at different things, so when golf was mentioned as something to experience she went for it.
She’s happy she did because hitting golf balls at Blomidon is one of her favourite things to do.
“Nobody expects you to be a pro golfer and you meet so many new friends while you’re there,” Rachael said. “It’s just a lot of fun and the coaches are just so nice.”
Rachael, eight-year-old daughter of Corner Brook’s Bill and Michelle O’Reilly, is entering her second year of junior golf at the Corner Brook golf course.
She got involved in the game last year during a Family Day event after her parents were encouraged by golf pro Wayne Allen to consider the sport for Rachael.
Her dad bought her a set of golf clubs and she’s been enjoying the game since the first time she drove the ball off the tee with her driver.
She enjoys throwing strikes as an avid bowler in the local Youth Bowling Canada program and is also looking at playing baseball this summer so being busy is something she prefers. She’s also hoping to see more of her friends take up the game of golf because she wants them to see what she enjoys so much about spending the day on the fairways.
She has words of encouragement for those pondering playing some golf this summer.
“I would say just keep on trying and if you make a mistake or think you’re not doing well just keep on believing,” he said.
One of the newcomers to the game this year just happens to be her four-year-old brother Warner. That’s something Rachael believes will be fun for both of them, but she does have one concern about playing alongside her younger sibling.
“I’m just hoping he doesn’t hit me with the putter,” she said.
If Allen gets his way, there will be more budding golfers like O’Reilly coming up through the ranks for years to come.
He hopes some of the city’s youth will check out the sport when his Wayne Allen Golf Academy hosts a Family Golf Day Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at the Blomidon Golf and Country Club. The Wayne Allen Golf Academy, through affiliation with Golf Canada, recently became one of only 23 national junior golf development centres in the country.
The day is designed to encourage families to embrace the sport with the focus on bringing new boys and girls into the sport every summer. Allen visited elementary and primary schools in western Newfoundland for the past few years giving students a sense of what the sport has to offer in a gymnasium setting with various golf stations set up.
“Just a bit of fun for the kids who want to explore golf,” he said of trying to get prospects out on the course. “Just to try it out and see what it’s like. Come along and have some fun.”
Blomidon is expected to have 100 golfers in its junior program this year, which is what Allen and the junior coaching staff had to work with last year. But, he’s never going to turn away anybody who wants to play a few rounds so the welcome mat is out for anybody who may discover Saturday that golf is a game they want to pursue.
The junior program at Blomidon caters to specific age groups — 5-9 and 10-16 — for boys and girls.
“Just trying to grow the game and get some kids involved in those various groups,” he said. “We’re always going to encourage more kids into the game and if the numbers are swelling then we’ll just add more coaching staff and accomodate them.”
Anybody wanting to check out the game is encouraged to show up Saturday. There will be free lessons, some games and a BBQ for those who attend. For more information contact Wayne Allen at 639-3741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org