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@Work: Links Ladies

Feb 24, 2005 – Forty-two St. Croix women are bringing their golf game up a level thanks to a new program instituted at the Buccaneer and the Reef golf courses by Jeanne Johnston.
The program just started a month ago and is called Links Ladies. It is divided into enough levels so every female golfer should be able to find a group to join.
Par Ladies is for beginning golfers. This section is divided into three groups. The Par 3 group is for those who have never picked up a club. The Par 5 group is for those who have a general familiarity with the game. The Par 4 is for women between those groups. Groups are comprised of three to six women.
Johnston, who has been golfing for 10 years and is the LPGA teaching and club pro at Buccaneer Golf Course, said in the par classes, basic skills are taught and there is an emphasis on golf etiquette and rules. She said golfers finishing these courses should "be comfortable playing nine holes and not feel that they have to rush."
Each of these classes lasts six weeks with one 90-minute class each week.
For the more experienced golfer there are the Eagle Ladies and the Birdie Ladies.
"We cover whatever the women want covered," Johnson said. She said in the first class she talks to the women to see where they are with their games and where they want to go. These classes last four weeks and are one hour each.
Birdies topics may include consistently getting the ball in the air, gaining distance through strength training, chipping techniques and managing the game. Eagles will generally focus on the game from 100 yards in.
Johnston said her aim right now is to get more people interested and enjoying golf. She plans to start a PGA course for teenage girls later this year.
She said the programs she now offers are the result of research she did on what other courses in the United States were offering. She added that an introduction to golf class she instructed last year at Buccaneer helped give her ideas about what direction to go.
Cost of Birdies or Eagles is $100 per golfer for four sessions. The cost of the six sessions in the Par programs is $155. For more information call the Buccaneer Golf Shop at 712-2144.
The classes are geared, because of their length, for residents of St. Croix. Johnston does continue to give lessons that are geared for guests.
She is married to Tim Johnston, the lead pro at Buccaneer. She said when they go on vacation, they mix in some fishing with their golf.

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