Jamie Howell, Golf Head Coach
June 19, 2012, Cocoa, FL - The Brevard Community College P.J. Wilson/Henry Scott Youth Golf Camp teed off its 20th anniversary season at BCC’s Fred Gay Golf Academy in Cocoa on Monday.
The camp consists of two sessions, June 18-21 and June 25-28. The instructors are Roosevelt Jackson, Isaac Johnson and BCC head golf coach Jamie Howell.
It's estimated that over the past two decades about 1,000 youngsters have completed the academy which focuses on basic skills, rules and the tradition of golf, Howell said.
Registration for the camp is usually held each May.
Forty-two students were in attendance on Monday including Cheyenne Duncan a rising junior at Rockledge High and the number two player on the Raiders girls golf team who was attending for the third time.
“My goal is to become number one” at Rockledge, said Duncan who is in her fifth year in the sport. “My game has gotten better with my driving. I am able to drive 250-300 (a long way). I need to work on my chipping. I’ve always had problems with chipping.”
The camp certainly has been valuable for Duncan.
“I learned how to grip the club, I basically didn’t know a lot about golf,” said Duncan who averages about 57 strokes for nine holes and 99 for 18. “I learned how to perfect my swing here. My chipping got better when I was here.”
The camp was begun in 1992 under the guidance of former BCC President Dr. Maxwell King with assistance from Henry Scott and P.J. Wilson, two African American golf professionals in Brevard County. For years it was known as the Minority Golf Camp because of its efforts to reach out to minorities, but it's always been open to all young people.
It continues with the support of BCC President Dr. Jim Richey, Dr. Joe Lee Smith and Don Williams. Smith has been active with the camp since its inception and has volunteered countless hours assisting at the camp. Williams was a key organizer of the camp during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Wilson passed away in 2000 and Scott in 2002.
Another veteran in attendance during the camp's first week is Blake Gladden, a rising freshman and golfer at Merritt Island’s Edgewood Junior/Senior High who was beginning his eighth year at the camp.
“I was so young I didn’t even know what a golf club was,” said Gladden. “Now I’m coming in shooting high 30s, low 40s on the golf team. It has built me up a lot.
“It basically comes back to the fundamentals of golf. Even if you hit a bad shot there is always the next one,” added Gladden who is the number three player at Edgewood.
Gladden planned to work on his driving at this year's camp.