As PGA Tour golfer Luke List walked out from the J. Fleming Norvell Golf House at Augusta University, 84 children began cheering.
The 2019 Augusta University Golf Camp welcomed List to the morning session of this week’s camp and he engaged campers with trivia questions, autographs and advice.
“These kids, just their enthusiasm,” List said. “I was there once and you have to remind yourself of that when you’re out there and it is a job, but it’s still a game. Just to see the passion these kids have for golf and the program here. Just to give back a little bit is really nice.”
Originally from Seattle, List lives in Augusta with his wife and son, and is currently practicing for the U.S. Open that kicks off June 13 at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Ranked 62nd in the world, List has already had three top 10s in the 2019 season.
“Luke lives here in town and practices out here when he’s around, and he was gracious enough to come spend an hour with us,” said Caroline Hegg, Augusta University women’s golf head coach. “This makes a big impact for these kids.”
And they were not taking it for granted.
Jack O’Keefe, head men’s golf coach and director of golf, started the kids off with some trivia about their guest to win an autographed hat.
“Where was the PGA Championship played?” O’Keefe questioned, followed by an immediate chorus of “New York!”
“We’re just glad to have him here,” O’Keefe said.
When it came time for questions, one camper asked List what it takes to become a professional golfer.
“You’re starting young, playing and learning the game right now, so that’s a good start,” List began. “Just keep working hard, and play all other sports, too – I recommend that. If you really want to play pro ball, try to get into a great program like Augusta, and you can play college ball first while getting a good education.”
Starting with a group of 19 campers when the program started, the camp has grown to almost 100 children ranging from ages 6 to 18.
“The first year, before I got here, Jack did it,” Hegg said. “I think there were 19 kids, so it’s really grown.”
Camp participants received skill instruction that focused on full swing, chipping, pitching, bunker play, putting, wedge play and course management as well as grip, posture, alignment and ball position.
“We have been offering summer camps in various sports for over 30 years and are constantly adding and changing them to strengthen the outreach,” said Taylor Lamb, director of athletic media relations. “It’s a win all for the community to have the youth interacting with NCAA coaches and athletes in collegiate facilities and the department truly enjoys it.”
The camps are open to the community and each offers unique opportunities for children in attendance.
“Our coaches get so much support from the community throughout their seasons, that it makes sense for them to give back with the annual summer camps,” Lamb said.
Starting next week, Augusta Athletics will be hosting the 2019 Melissa Brocato Softball Camp and the 21st Dip Metress Basketball Academy. There is also an Elite Women’s Basketball Camp beginning June 15 that is open to all high schoolers, including rising freshmen.
The annual Augusta Volleyball Summer Camp will also be in session starting June 17.
For more information about summer camps offered through Augusta University Athletics, contact Taylor Lamb or call 706-731-7925.