TAMPA - Almost any golfer who is passionate about the game will tell you that he or she got started through their parents or grandparents. It's a game that often runs in the family as one person passes it on to the next.
Richard Veghte, head golf professional at Westchase Golf Club, is trying to keep that tradition going by hosting Parent-Child 9-hole golf outings every Saturday. The events consist of two divisions: a group for parents and juniors 8 and younger, and another for parents and juniors 9 and older.
The cost is $25 per team and another $10 for each additional child. It includes range balls, prizes and meals after the end of the round.
"The golf is a lot of fun and a great way for parents to teach their kids about the game," Veghte said. "Anytime a kid gets a chance to play golf with their parents, that's pretty special and a great chance to get the exposure to playing on a great golf course."
Parents do not need to bring their A-game. No one is keeping score on a serious level. All competitors get a certificate, no matter how they score.
Westchase has a popular summer golf camp and packs the kids in during the week, but Veghte said the kids can learn only so much on the driving range.
"You can hit balls on the range all day, but the key is to getting onto the course," Veghte said. "When you can get on the course and play with your family, that is really fun for the kids."
The program also provides an opportunity for kids to learn about golf etiquette from their parents.
"You would be surprised by how many of the kids know how to rake a sand trap or take care of the golf course after they play with their parents," Veghte said. "We teach them to leave the golf course in better shape than they find it. It works."
For more information on the Parent-Child program at Westchase Golf Club, call (813) 854-2331.