WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — With pandemic restrictions easing, many folks are finally able to get out and enjoy more activities this summer.

A new program aims to bring kids together while teaching them the ins and outs of golf. It’s Williamsport’s first program like this, where kids can take a swing at golf while also gaining valuable life lessons. Quite a crowd turned out first day of the Williamsport Area Junior Golf for youth ages 7 to 15.

“You know the city and town needed something for kids. Opportunities to do things maybe different than the normal basketball or football,” Williamsport Area Junior Golf advisor Jeff Hughes said.

Hughes helped start the program to give kids a chance to learn more than just playing a sport.

“Respect, that’s part of responsibility, you know self-control. They’re going to be faced with decisions down the line that are like that,” Hughes said.

“It teaches them values, it teaches them morals, it teaches them truth and being steady as a part of the community,” instructor Leroy Baer said.

Even though some parents put them up to it, kids say it was fun to try something new.

Xavier and my brother were here. They made it fun as well and I liked hitting the balls super far,” Jenson Bolt of Williamsport said.

“I learned to actually make a good golf swing because I just thought you hit the ball and you hope that it goes into the hole. Now I know that there’s a lot more to golf than that,” AJ Bolt of Williamsport said.

After thiss class, some even have dreams of going pro.

“Everybody else told me that I could be a professional when I grow up so I kind of think I’m going to start my road there,” Reese Rojas-Stuerzel of Muncy said.

If a family can’t afford classes, then instructors will help provide assistance.

“It’s really about not allowing cost to be an excuse for our kids to not be exposed to this game of golf,” Hughes said.