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Junior golf league wraps up first season at GPCC

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The Parkland Junior Golf League wrapped up its first season at the Gilbert Plains Country Club, last Wednesday.
The league, which operated every Wednesday for four weeks beginning July 4, had 28 young golfers registered.
League co-ordinator Ryan Rauliuk said GPCC has had lessons for junior golfers, but there has never been a league for the young golfers to put what they learned to use.
“So this is, I think, the first time ever (for a league). To my knowledge, anyway,” he said.
Players were put into teams of four and the teams were rearranged every week, which allowed the players to golf with different golfers.
“So they always had to play with a different team every week. They would walk the front nine of the Gilbert Plains Country Club and they weren’t encouraged to mark the score. It was more, go out there and hit the ball and enjoy the game. Don’t worry about how many times you hit it. That was the main concept,” Rauliuk said.
Rauliuk added the league was designed for the junior golfers who do not get a chance to get out very often.
“Maybe the parents don’t play golf. Or the kid just enjoys the game and wants to get out more. It’s kind of a win-win situation for them all,” he said.
Rauliuk came up with the idea and he approached Ron Chapen, who put all the teams together.
“I’m going to call him my leader, because he has done things like this before. He’s a good organizer of what has to be done with golf. I came up with the idea and maybe helped them spearhead it a little bit. But, for the most part, Ron did the footwork of getting the teams together and sitting down with me and figuring out which direction we wanted to go,” he said.
Rauliuk was overwhelmed with the success of the league’s first year. When he came up with the idea, he was hoping to get five to 10 golfers involved.
“Getting 28 was overwhelming. And I think in years to come, it’s not going to take long for the 36 maximum that we were going to allow, to fill up. I would almost guarantee that more than half the kids will return. As successful as this year was, I could foresee it happening where all 36 spots will be filled next year,” he said.
Rauliuk thanks all the sponsors, children and parents for their support in the league’s first year of operation.
“I want to encourage all the kids to keep golfing. The league doesn’t stop then and there. The kids can book their tee off times to go out on a Wednesday night now and meet up with the friends that they met the last four weeks and have fun with it,” he said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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