By Frank Rizzo
CALLICOON July 24, 2001 Greg Rohrback, the assistant pro at the Villa Roma Country Club in Callicoon, was giving one of a series of lessons for young golfers last Tuesday.
The aspiring duffers were lined up on the Villas practice range, eager to tee off, as Rohrback and his assistant, Jared Kubenik of Jeffersonville, were setting up. The pair were in potential harms way.
Rule number one dont hit the ball when Im in front of you, Rohrback told the charges.
There are rules, and there are rules.
Etiquette is a big thing, the rules of golf, Rohrback said, referring to the conventions governing ones conduct on the links.
Those form a large part of what Rohrback tries to impart in his weekly lessons.
But he has his own, equally important internal rules to try to hook youth into what he calls a game for life.
Youve got to keep their attention, he reflected. They get bored easily.
So he brings them onto the course itself, constructs little competitions, tries to make learning the fundamentals of the game fun.
The kids he was instructing last Tuesday, he said, all had good grips. They all have played before.
A problem he has to overcome is that many come fresh from Little League, and take a baseball approach to swinging the club.
Golf is not like baseball, Rohrback told his charges. Its more like tennis or hockey
in the movement of the hips and shoulders.
The hardest thing is to convince them that they dont have to hit the ball so hard, Rohrback related.
So the youngsters learned another rule: Its not how hard you hit the ball, Rohrback told them. Its how much of the ball you hit.
For information on lessons, call the Villa Roma golf shop at 887-5097.