Camp Reward was initiated in the fall of 2009. The thought was to ‘reward’ young chapter participants in a way that following their summer programs, Chapter Directors could select two participants from their chapter to attend a special camp. Participants would then head to McCormick, SC and attend the weekend camp at a long supporting venue of the SCJGA – and part of SC Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department – Hickory Knob State Park with their peers from the chapter program.
Participants were housed in the lodge and cabins situated on the grounds of Hickory Knob State Parkfor Friday and Saturday nights. Programming began upon arrival Friday afternoon and following check-in, players were welcomed by Ken Taylor’s nutrition for competition presentation. Rules, guidelines and an agenda for the entire weekend followed Mr. Taylor’s presentation as well as an informal talk with attending parents who were informed of their roll in the development of their child’s golf career. That evening dinner was provided along with chaperoned free time under the lights at the practice facility and at the park’s community center.
Saturday morning campers woke up to breakfast and an optional fishing lesson at the lake nearby. Then the camp commenced at the practice putting facility with a meeting and a world class warm-up with George Bryan Golf Academy instructors. Players were grouped into similarly skilled and aged categories and began circuit training in different short game activities with am emphasis on target golf and having fun! Lunch followed and afternoon sessions led to the golf course for on course circuit training focusing on different aspects of the game while actually during a round.
Sunday morning, other strategic games and activities were used on the golf course to teach the young golfers how to approach their game. The camp concluded with awards and a feedback session asking parents and players to fill out separate surveys to get their take on the weekend. The feedback was overwhelming! According to parents and players alike, Camp Reward was one of the biggest successes to come from the SCJGA…EVER!
Instructors and mentors at Camp Reward include former SCJGA players, Chapter Directors, SCGA Board Members. The bulk of the programming was developed by the George Bryan Golf Academy and Dr. Morris Pickens, a sports psychologist whose clients include U.S. Open Champion Lucas Glover, British Open Champion Stewart Cink and other PGA Tour golfers, Jonathan Byrd, Davis Love III and Zach Johnson.