Whether your child has picked up a golf club before or not, a junior golf camp combines expert instruction with a fun summer experience. Half and full-day programs are available across the United States and beyond, and some academies also offer the option of boarding.
With the opportunity to learn or advance game skills, pick up valuable life skills, and above all have the time of their lives, golf summer camps have lots to offer to kids.
Here’s a rundown of the top golf summer camps in the United States for juniors. Any of the following is ideal for sporty kids who want to take their golf skills to the next level in college or professional, and each has its unique reasons to recommend it.
Mike Bender Golf Academy
The Mike Bender Golf Academy is based in Florida at the Magnolia Plantation Golf Club in Lake Mary. This facility just north of Orlando offers a couple of golf programs for juniors. One is aimed at beginners and intermediate-level players, while the other is focused on competitive players who want to compete in tournaments.
Kids aged 5 and 13 can attend the beginner and intermediate camp, while the improver program is open to 10 to 18 year olds. Whichever you choose, kids are in good hands as Mike Bender has received previous awards for being one of the top golf instructors in the USA.
The Mike Bender Golf Academy offers the latest technology to analyze their swings, a ratio of 5 students per instructor, and a rounded program including fitness and mental agility training. Teamwork, sportsmanship, and tolerance are also positively encouraged, as is attending a 3 or 6-week camp for the best results.
Boarding and day camps are available, and the former include gender-specific accommodation at Fountain Park. This gated community also offers a fitness center and a pool for the campers.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy
It’s all about giving kids the chance to “train like a champion” at Gary Gilchrist’s Golf Academy. Based in Florida, Gary Gilchrist and his team deliver instruction at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey in the Hills. This is home to El Campeón, one of the nation’s leading and oldest golf courses.
Gilchrist Golf offers a range of options for current and prospective junior golfers. Three-hour assessments are recommended for new students. Kids can then progress onto playing lessons lasting for three hours or hourly coaching sessions.
Gary Gilchrist is renowned for his tailored approach to each student. His individual programs focus on strengths and weaknesses, fine-tuning the former while improving vastly on the latter. It’s reasonable to expect great results from a man who has coached world number one, as well as LPGA, PGA, and European tour winners, plus an Olympic medalist.
RedTail Golf Center
If Oregon appeals to you as a golf camp location, then take a look at RedTail Golf Center. Situated in Beaverton, it’s overseen by an instructor with a Master’s Kids Teacher award. The golf camp offers junior programs for all levels, from beginners to those hoping to play college golf or even competitive AFGA.
Confidence-building and creating a spirit of sportsmanship are central to RedTail’s ethos. The facility also aims to impact young lives via the game. All the approachable instructors are seen as positive role models first and foremost, while bringing a sense of fun and energy to the game of golf.
RedTail Junior Golf Camps are offered during spring break and the summer seasons. These operate as half-day camps, and reduced rates are available for those booking more than one session.
As well as expert instruction, all attendees get a Junior Gift Pack containing a golf shirt, a certificate of accomplishment, golf balls, and more to pique their interest and keep them as souvenirs.
Chicago School of Golf
Chicago School of Golf hosts camps for kids at four locations in Illinois — Buffalo Grove, Robert Black, Sydney Marovitz, and Wood Dale. They run for four or five days and are offered at four different skill levels. Level 1 is ideal for beginners aged 5 and up with locations everywhere except Sydney Marovitz.
A 4 to 1 student-to-staff ratio means each child can receive individual attention to develop their skills and hone their technique. The school uses a Deliberate Play Model, which is designed for fun as well as real results. Instructors are also particularly keen to share progress with parents in a transparent and accountable way.
Each level is suitable for a specified age group, with level 4 suited to kids who can walk 9 holes. There is also a program for high school students open to just a small number of players, offering personalized and practical training.
First Tee’s raison d’etre is “building game changers” through golf. As a youth development organization, they combine life skills coaching with golf, creating strong characters in the process. First Tee delivers programs at 1,687 locations in America, teaching 3.4 million students annually.
This huge undertaking is all about molding confident, resilient youngsters to be their very best selves. It’s as much about life skills as golf techniques and aims to engender academic and social success in a nurturing and empowering environment.
The sort of skills your child will develop when attending a First Tee program include managing emotions, goal setting, conflict resolution, and respect for diversity. This is all delivered alongside instruction in golfing techniques and skills.
You can look at their website to see a list of nearby locations no matter where you are in the United States.
TopGolf Summer Academy
For five days, kids attending the TopGolf Summer Academy will learn valuable golf skills while having non-stop fun. They are open to kids ages 6-12 and operate between 9 am and 12 pm on weekdays.
Not only does TopGolf offer programs across the US but also in other countries including Mexico, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Program rates are very affordable and include lunch. By the end of a 5-day schedule, the aim is for kids to develop what TopGolf terms a “winning swing”. Each morning session includes 2.5 hours of instruction.
Welcome gifts and a completion certificate are also part of the package. Your child will come away from a TopGolf camp with golfing skills and also having formed new friendships while having a really good time.
Carefully handpicked instructors deliver coaching in a friendly manner, using the latest technology and equipment with no country club-style snobbery or stuffiness.
MCG Golf Academy
Three levels of tuition are offered at MCG Golf Academy, comprising beginner, intermediate, and advanced golf offerings. These are open to ages 7+, 10+ and 14+ respectively, apart from instructor-approved exceptions. Programs operate in 7 western Maryland locations, conveniently close to Washington D.C.
Level 1 camps run on a half-day basis, lasting a week. Instruction covers all your child needs to know to get started on their golfing journey, including rules and etiquette as well as swing, putting, driving, and short game. Lunch is excluded, but equipment can be supplied.
Level 2 camps are for players who can already walk 9 holes and have their own kit. This program operates between 9 am and 2 pm and builds on existing golfing skills. It’s not suitable for beginners.
If your teenagers want to attend a Level 3 camp, they should be 14 or older and able to attend between 8 am and 2 pm. Playing at least 9 holes daily, this one is for experienced young golfers seeking high-level instruction. There are even adult group programs parents can enroll in.
Tom Burnett Golf Academy
With a location in St. Augustine, Florida, Tom Burnett Golf Academy is overseen by Tom Burnett, who is passionate about coaching young golfers. Achieving collegiate golf scholarships is a particular specialty, and even Junior Golf Camps aim to turn out world-class players.
Training programs are holistic in their approach, balancing physical, mental, and technical training. By the time they leave, each camper should have developed a burning desire for continual improvement in their game.
Week-long summer camps always commence with an individual assessment of children’s game skills, physical condition, and mental acuity. Sessions are offered on a half-day, full-day, or boarding basis, with luxurious townhouse accommodation for those staying overnight. If you book more than one week, discounts are available for boarders and day golfers.