Hitting the links with East Grand
A group of local students this week headed out to the greens at Grand Elk Golf Course in Granby to discover the simple pleasure of the links.
The excursion was part of a program called Golf in Schools and seeks to introduce the popular sport to a new generation of youth.
Seventh grade students from East Grand spent some time Wednesday on the practice greens and driving range while they received instruction from Grand Elk’s PGA Head Professional Mike Ritter and two other club pros, as well as several club members.
“This serves as an intro to golfing for kids who have never had the opportunity to play before,” said Ritter. “In some cases the kids have never been to a golf course before.”
Grand Elk has assisted East Grand with the Golf in Schools program for the past several years with Ritter as the head professional. The students go through four-days of golf instruction in the Granby Soccer Dome before they head out to the course, as Ritter explained.
While at the course, Ritter joined teachers from East Grand and other Grand Elk staff to work with the students on chipping, pitching, putting and the full swing. The students also get the opportunity to play a portion of the course’s ninth hole.
Wednesday’s student field trip was just a bit of what Ritter and the staff at Grand Elk have been digging into this spring. In addition, Grand Elk is upping their technology game this summer with the introduction of new GolfBoards and an update to their golf cart fleet.
The new GolfBoards featured at the course are battery powered stand-up personal transportation devices that golfers can utilize rather than standard golf carts. The GolfBoards are similar in appearance to mountainboards with four large wheels and a flat platform for standing on in the middle. They also have a place for storing a golf bag and has a handle for holding on. Ritter described the technology as allowing players to “surf” the course while offering a truly unique golfing experience.
“It is definitely intended to attract young people,” he said. “But I had two 60-year-old women out on them the other day.”
Ritter said the GolfBoards are already becoming popular and he expects to add more to the courses current fleet of four in the future.
Grand Elk also updated its standard golf cart fleet for this summer with the lease of 2017 Club Car carts. The course was excited about the Visage GPS technology each cart features and the touch-pad system allowing golfers to get exact distances to the pin.
“You can even order your food and beverages while you’re out on the course,” Ritter added.
Grand Elk opened for the season on April 12, though only nine holes were available for play at that time. The remainder of the course was opened about a week later. The Grand Elk Grill opened for the summer on May 5 following some minor upgrades and construction renovations completed over the winter.
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November is a hit-or-miss snow month, and while this year’s weather wasn’t the best for ski season in Summit County, it also wasn’t the worst.