Juniors can swing, save at area courses.
The kids are all right - ask any golf course operator.
Indeed, virtually every course in the area tries to attract young golfers by offering reduced greens fees. Some even provide youngsters regular opportunities to golf for free, in hopes that they will turn into paying customers as adults. Many also offer special instructional programs tailored for junior golfers.
Here is a summary of the discount and instruction programs for juniors offered at local public golf clubs:
Diamond Woods - Discounted greens fees of $14 for 18 holes and $9 for 9 holes are available to high school age and younger golfers Mondays through Thursdays. Also, new teaching pro Birk Nelson is putting together a junior instructional program for this summer, but details have not yet been finalized. Details: 998-9707.
Emerald Valley - Juniors (age 17 and under) can play 18 holes for $10 on a stand-by basis (tee times may not be made in advance) any time there is an opening, except before noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
Emerald Valley's junior summer golf school starts June 14. For $45, students get 10 weekly sessions, each of which includes an instructional clinic followed by playing a number of holes on the course. Once registered in the junior program, students can play Emerald Valley for $5 "during non-busy times." Details: 895-2174.
Fiddler's Green - Junior rate is $6 for 9 holes and $9 for 18. McDermott's Golf School at Fiddler's Green offers a weekly lesson program for juniors starting June 7. The program includes two hours of instruction on Monday and two hours on Tuesday and costs $60.
Hidden Valley - This nine-hole course in Cottage Grove offers juniors rates of $7 for nine holes. In addition, instructional events are occasionally scheduled. Details 942-3046.
Laurelwood - The city-owned nine-hole course plans to offer a juniors program this summer, but rates and other details have not yet been approved, according to manager Kit Wilbur. For details, call 484-5653 later in the spring.
Mallard Creek - Golfers age 15 and under play for free when accompanied by an adult teeing off after 1 p.m. weekdays or after 4 p.m. weekends. Also, youngsters 12-15 who complete one of Mallard Creek's "certification clinics" may use the course without charge any time there is an opening, and without the necessity of an adult playing partner. Details: (541) 259-4653.
McKenzie River - The nine-hole Deerhorn course offers $7 green fees for golfers ages 8 to 16, about half the going rate for adults. Junior golfers are allowed on the course by themselves on weekdays, but on weekends they generally must be accompanied by an adult. Details: 896-3454.
Middlefield - Offers half-price greens fees ($6 for 9 holes, $10 for 18) for ages 17 and under. A juniors golf league and clinic are tentatively planned this summer but have not yet been finalized. Details: (541) 942-8730.
Oakway - Half-price greens fees ($6 for 9 holes and $10 for 18) available to ages 17 and under. Also, Oakway is in the second year of conducting a junior golf league on Mondays and Tuesdays, with competition in three different age groups based on "eclectic" scoring (in which each individual's best score of the season on each hole is used). Details: 484-1927.
RiverRidge - Discounted green fees ($6 for nine holes on any of the three courses) are available only with purchase of an annual "Links Card" ($50 for 11th-graders and younger). However, the Links Card is not required to get a $6 rate for the par-3 Short Ridge Course on Saturdays, which is "family play day."
RiverRidge also offers an extensive junior golf school program during the summer. Sessions for boys and girls ages 11-17 start June 21 and 28 and cost $225 for 26 hours of instruction over four days. Sessions for elementary school golfers (ages 7 to 10) start July 5 and 12 and cost $150 for 12 hours of instruction over three days. An "Advanced Junior Girls School" for girls 12 to 17 years old is slated Aug. 3-5. It includes 18 hours of instruction. Tuition fees for all of the junior golf schools includes a $28 range ball credit, one nine-hole green fee at Short Ridge and "tee gifts" valued at $15. Details: 345-9160.
Sandpines - Offers ages 17 and under discounted greens fees from $32 to $55, depending on the season. However, junior golfers who attend the annual junior golf camp offered in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County are allowed free use of the course and practice facilities after 4 p.m. each day. Fee for the two-week golf camp, offered each July, is $30. For registration details, contact the Boys and Girls Club at (541) 902-0304.
Tokatee - Offers $5 greens fees seven days a week for golfers age 17 and under. Also, teaching pro Dan King conducts a summer golf school for ages 8-17. This year's course starts June 11 and meets every Friday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for nine weeks. Cost: $40. Details, registration: (800) 452-6376.