There is no secret golf is booming in Saskatchewan, Canada, and across the globe. Evan Lang, the assistant professional at the Murray Golf Course just outside Regina can attest.
Lang has spent a good portion of the summers over his 27 years at the Murray officially joining the staff as a teenager. He was playing golf long before that near his home northeast of the Queen City at Westfalia Golf Course with his grandmother three to four times a week at five years old. With an instant love for the game, and other sports his high school job choice was easy.
“When I was 14, I needed a job, I will apply at the golf course, it will be something fun,” he chuckled. “I went and dropped my resume off with Gus (Vogalsang) at the golf course. I was like you know I would like a gig here, maybe get some golf in, something like that and I haven’t looked back since.”
Prior to getting his PGA certification about six years ago Lang was an understudy to Paul Schatz who ran the junior golf program at the club with great success. Now heading the program Lang said he’s tried to make the golfers more rounded in athletics.
“The program hasn’t changed a whole bunch, I have introduced some new things and we’ve got this SNAG golf equipment that Paul and I have with Regina Junior Golf. That thing has been great, it’s all sticky stuff, it’s a whole bunch of fun. I’ve introduced lots of new drills, visuals, really just a focus on making the kids more athletic, being an athlete rather than super golf focused,” he explained.
The program runs for the month of May and the first week of June. Kids are at the course for three or four nights per week with a focus on driving, putting, iron play, and chipping. This year the clinics were jam packed with 80 kids broken up into groups while following COVID-19 guidelines. Lang said the phone hasn’t stopped ringing for more private group lessons for juniors. Lang said the key to having upwards of 200 junior golfers learning the game is enjoyment.
“My biggest thing is the kids want to be able to have fun and want to go golf with their parents, that’s my job. They will learn some stuff, become better athletes, they want to enjoy the game. If they don’t enjoy the game, they will be bored and they will not want to go out with their parents and play,” he said.
Lang, who doubles as a Callaway fitting rep in his extremely limited free time said growing up in sports and spending so much time at the Murray himself coaching the next generation takes him back and he sees himself in the kids of today.
“Golf is a great sport to get into, I grew up playing all the sports and I think it’s important. It helps with your hand-eye coordination, it just helps you develop as an athlete and person. It definitely brings me back for sure,” he concluded.