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PREP EXTRA / A weekly look at the high school sports
scene in the Southland | CITY SECTION REPORT

Girls' Golf Program Off to Promising Start

October 12, 2000|GARY KLEIN

The first City Section girls' golf championship will be played Nov. 5 at Woodley Lakes Golf Course in Van Nuys, but the focus of this season is development rather than competition.

More than 100 girls at 17 schools are participating.

"The score is secondary," Marshall Coach Phil Duran said. "Most of these girls are playing golf for the first time.

"We want to teach them the game properly so when they leave us they have skills in a sport they can play the rest of their lives."

Teams began play four weeks ago on par-three courses that allowed players to practice their shots while learning rules and etiquette. The matches have moved to some courses with a few par-four holes and will eventually be played on longer layouts.

"What's nice is that all the schools in each league are showing up for matches at the same site," Duran said. "We can get a block of starting times, there are no forfeits and there are always plenty of girls to play each other.

"It's good for the coaches because we can help each other out and decide as a group if the girls are handling the course or if they are ready to move up."

Duran said the fall season works to the advantage of the girls because course availability is better than for the boys' season in the spring.

The new Tregnan Golf Academy at Griffith Park is expected to help with the development of more players in coming years. The academy features three practice holes, a 15-stall, 175-yard driving range, practice bunkers and putting and chipping greens. Instruction for boys and girls age 6 and older is provided by the Los Angeles Junior Chamber's LPGA-Urban Youth Golf Program.

Duran said he foresees a day when all City Section schools field girls' teams.

"We have kind of a three-year plan to get all of the City schools involved," Duran said. "Right now, we encourage all schools to bring as many players as they can to each match. We don't want to forget anybody just because they have not played before."

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