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Teaching pro's Web site, tour help kids

Published February 1, 2006

TRINITY - With few outlets for youth golfers, Tom Shea knew he had to do something.

Shea, the PGA teaching professional at Fox Hollow Golf Club, had noticed the kids he taught looked lost, as if they never had been on a golf course.

Most hadn't.

Shea took action, creating and the Junior Tour in October 2004.

There are five age brackets, ranging from 6-7 to 14-18, on the tour. To participate, there is an annual fee of $30 as well as a $20 per tournament fee. Tournaments currently are nine holes but will increase to 18 once the Tour grows. Most take place in central and west Pasco County. The last was Jan.21 at River Ridge, and the next will be Feb.18 at Forest Hills.

"I had kids out here every Saturday," said Shea, in his fourth year at Fox Hollow. "They would come out here for a clinic, and a lot of them had never been on a golf course before. So I checked, and the name was available. As far as the tour goes, it was originally to get experience for the kids I knew, but it's open to everyone. We play one tournament a month at courses such as Fox Hollow, the Groves, and River Ridge."

For new players, a junior instructional package is available. It includes two private lessons, one course lesson, and a player evaluation. The cost is $99 per player.

"This really is for the kids," said Shea, who has over 20 years teaching experience. "It not only gives them the opportunity to play, it gives them the opportunity for competition."

Whereas the tour might just be for the kids, is for adults as well.

Shea offers everything from the Tom Shea Short Game Schools to instruction. According to the Web site, 66 percent of all rounds are played from 100 yards and in. It also notes that driving is 5 percent or less of the game.

The instruction can take place "almost every day and is scheduled at your convenience," according to the Web site. For instruction, the cost is $50 for a half hour and $100 for an hour. A nine-hole playing lesson is available for $150, with an 18-hole lesson $275. The playing lessons include a video analysis.

Another feature of is Shea's "Pyramid of Scoring," which focuses on club distance and control.

"The goal is to hit it in certain areas with certain clubs," said Shea. "I mean, we'd all like to hit it 300 yards, but if people control their club and club speed, than they'll be able to score better. It's all about ball placement."

For more information, log onto or e-mail Shea at

What's going on at your golf course? Contact Times correspondent Mike Tompkins at 813 431-4812 or email at

[Last modified February 1, 2006, 01:04:14]

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