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Giving kids a passion for golf all about approach

Adam Stanley
Postmedia Content Works

In an age where attention spans are at an all-time low, digital messaging and distractions are highly prevalent, and kids are playing outside less than they have in the past, 11-year-old Vanessa Borovilos, from Etobicoke, is bucking that trend with her efforts on the golf course.

The youngster, a two-time US Kids Golf Champion, qualified for the finals of the Drive, Chip, and Putt national championships for 2018, marking the third time in four years she’ll be heading to the hallowed grounds of Augusta National, saying she can’t wait to try to win ‘the big trophy,’ and of course, meet some past Masters champions like Jordan Spieth or Fred Couples.

Borovilos loves golf so much that her father, Dino, says the golf course is her second home.

She’s not the only junior golfer based out of Credit Valley Golf and Country Club, less than 30 minutes from downtown Toronto, to get the golf bug early – the course has quickly become an idyllic place for parents to help show their kids more about the sport that can become an activity they enjoy  their whole lives.

Dino Borovilos, Vanessa’s father, says there was an unmatched comfort level at Credit Valley for it to become Vanessa’s go-to spot. And the course – with its newly renovated practice facility and award-winning instructors, including 2012 PGA of Canada Junior Leader of the Year Doug Lawrie – is encouraging both superstar golfers like Vanessa and youngsters who are just getting started in the sport to keep it up.

Lawrie, who has been with Credit Valley since 2016, has watched as  the club has become the preeminent spot in the Greater Toronto Area for juniors;  and parents couldn’t be happier.

“You always see members stop and watch Vanessa hit balls. They’re rooting her on. And she doesn’t miss it,” says Lawrie.

Lawrie says the course has given him the opportunity to create, from a blank canvas, the most amazing junior golf programs that touch  every level of young golfer – from brand new, to developing, to competitive.

“When a parent joins Credit Valley, it provides an opportunity to  allow their children to play and train and enjoy the unbelievable amenities Credit Valley has, which instantly shows the club is thinking in the big picture,” he says. “A lot of golf pros have too many ‘golf pro hats’ on, so they’re thinking ‘golf pro stuff’ and they’re not thinking kids’ stuff. They’re not thinking about fun things, and that’s where Credit Valley has an advantage.”

Borovilos is just one example of the robust junior base at Credit Valley. And according to Adam Cherry, the Director of Golf at Credit Valley,  the rest of the membership couldn’t be happier to see how many youngsters are out playing.

“The members are proud of the junior program we have. We’ll have guests out and a lot of the time we’ll get the ‘wow, that looks great,’ especially when they see the little golf bags with four clubs that are barely up to the members’ knees. They’ll see kids having fun and laughing and the members are proud to show it off to their guests and friends,” he states. “Other clubs are a little bit envious of what we’ve got.”

But Credit Valley’s junior instructional programs are just one part of what it can give golfers who are just trying to get better.

Both parents and children alike can benefit from Credit Valley’s offerings.

It’s new practice area has more than 60,000 square feet of teeing space along with practice greens, bunkers, and eight target greens that are laser-measured every day.

“There is truly a developmental program from a young age and up,” explains Cherry.

Coupled with a dedicated short game area and an indoor golf facility that boasts three hitting bays, a putting green, and the latest swing analysis technology, Credit Valley is the best course for golfers who are serious about improvement.

And it doesn’t matter if that golfer has been playing their whole lives, or not-yet-a-teenager like Vanessa.

“The thing that’s key is to keep getting kids involved.” says Lawrie. “Credit Valley is more than just a place to train and play out of. We create an environment where they get this bug, love this game and want to play it for the rest of their lives.”

Less than 30 minutes from downtown Toronto, Credit Valley Golf and Country Club is a private golf club located in the heart of Mississauga nestled on the banks of the beautiful and serene Credit River. With a commitment to community, Credit Valley Golf and Country Club is the perfect place for your family to call home.