Yokota hosts LPGA golf clinic
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Golf can be an infuriating game. Ever-stretching, well-manicured fairways that are littered with hazards that only a masochist would love. Hazards that will eat up the player’s ball and spit out an ever-growing golf score.
Because of this, it’s important for golfers to practice every aspect of the game. Yokota members currently have the Par 3 Golf Course and driving range to help hone their skills, and recently had an opportunity to get expert training from Jenny Gleason and Amy Reid, both professional golfers with the Ladies Professional Golf Association, from June 22 to the 25.
“We travel to military bases around the world with professional golfers from the Ladies Professional Golf Association and put on these golf clinics for military members, their families and anyone else who wants to attend,” said Doug Quirie, player development golf specialist for the Air Force. “This is the fourth year running for the program and what started out as us going to one base has grown to us traveling to 22 installations throughout the year.”
The driving range was the primary attraction for those wanting lessons where the focus was on the bread and butter of golf: holding the club and body movement. Gleason and Reid walked around and worked with the golfers on their technique, ensuring everyone was receiving proper training.
Along with the range, clinic attendees also played on the Par 3 course, where they could get more one-on-one training with the pros. For U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Lee Boone, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“I play golf at Tama Hills quite regularly and thought this would be a good opportunity to get some instruction from the pros,” Boone said. “The training has been great. I came out and was able to play nine holes with Jenny Gleason. She was providing tips and instruction for the whole game. A weekend golf player like myself usually doesn’t have access to that kind of personalized instruction.”
For Gleason, the opportunity for her “to give back to those who give so much” is why she’s been teaching these clinics.
“I’ve been participating in these golf clinics for the last three years,” Gleason said. “I love being able to give back military members and their families. I didn’t grow up in a military family, but I understand the sacrifices that everyone makes.”
The golf clinic finished up June 25 with a game at Tama Hills, where those who played were able to put the hours of help from Gleason and Reid to the test. The clinics will continue next year with more professionals traveling to military bases and more base residents getting the exceptional opportunity to play with the best.