Walt Disney World hosts 2014 summer Junior Golf Camp
As an Orlando resident with children who love Walt Disney World, I have wished every year that the resort would offer summer camps. Until recently, though, the theme-park giant hasn't gotten into the business of educating and entertaining kids in a camp setting the way some other Central Florida themed attractions have.
However, there is one popular section of the resort that has taken a swing at offering a summer camp experience. Walt Disney World Golf is offering its Junior Golf Camp for the second year after a successful debut in 2013.
Kids ages 7 to 17 can learn from PGA professionals on the resort's championship golf courses. They will practice putting at a Magnolia course green, improve their short games and full swings near the Palm course, and play the Oak Trail course on three separate days. There is a ratio of one instructor for every six junior golfers, and each session can accommodate up to 24 campers.
"We really want to give kids the chance to be introduced to the game or to polish their skills while giving them the 'Disney Experience' with the program," Michael Schlager, director of instruction for Walt Disney World Golf, told me.
Each weeklong session is more than just a golf clinic, he said. The "Disney Experience" means that lessons are themed to Disney characters, plus there are games and prizes. At the end of the week, junior golfers even are awarded medals for their teams' standings in the ongoing competition.
Lunch also is included in the cost of the camp, which is $350 per week. (Each additional child in the same family receives a discount of $50 off the tuition.) On Monday through Thursday, students are served a boxed lunch with items such as a sandwich, apple, chips and a drink. On Friday, they celebrate the week with a pizza party. Each lunch hour also features a Disney movie.
Walt Disney World's Junior Golf Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. The weeklong sessions begin on June 9, 16, 23; July 7, 21, 28; and August 4 and 11. To register, call 407-WDW-GOLF or go online to www.golfwdw.com. If your child doesn't have golf clubs, a set will be provided.
"We put a focus a fun, and we give [the junior golfers] better skills," Schlager said. "They have a lot more fun if they continue to improve."
Arnold Palmer Golf Management operates Walt Disney World Golf courses.