The practice range at the Links at Stono Ferry filled rapidly on a recent Tuesday afternoon as youngsters toting golf clubs arrived for the second Middle School Golf League match of the season.
The students displayed varying degrees of skill as they warmed up under the watchful eyes of their volunteer coaches.
League director Marshall Ormand met with the coaches, receiving their lineup sheets and discussing the rules in place for the match before summoning everyone together for a brief welcome and instructions.
“Shake hands with your opponent after the match, and if you see someone affiliated with the golf course, thank them for the job they are doing,” Ormand said.
He then sent them out to their respective starting positions to begin a six-hole match with a final safety warning that students must be seated inside the cart on their ride out.
Once on the course for the match, they must walk. The league is open to boys and girls in sixth through eighth grade in the Charleston area. Volunteers coach at each school.
“We have four schools this year,” said Ormand, who is the head golf professional at the Charleston Municipal Golf Course, which organizes the league. “We have had more schools in the past, but this year we have C.E. Williams, Fort Johnson, Charleston Day and Buist Academy.”
Ormand said each team averages about 15 players, but only six compete in the six-hole matches that are played throughout the area. Players are limited to a double par on each hole and then must pick up.
“We couldn’t do this without the volunteer coaches we have,” Ormand said. “I see it as a learning experience. We try to teach them about the rules and golf etiquette.”
Ahsaki Roundtree, 13 and a member of the C.E. Williams team, said she decided to play golf because it looked like a fun hobby.
“It’s a very relaxing sport,” she said.
Macio Jacobs, the volunteer head coach for C.E. Williams, said about half of his team had played golf before joining the team.
More information can be found at charlestoncity.info/golf.
Tommy Braswell/Staff Middle School Golf League coordinator Marshall Ormand gives instruction to participants before a match played at the Links at Stono Ferry.×
Tommy Braswell/Staff Aliki Magee of Buist Academy addresses her ball for her second shot on the second hole at the Links at Stono Ferry.×