By Rich Winter
Not sure if everyone in the eastern part of South Dakota is familiar with how many golf courses there are in rural areas of western South Dakota, particularly Native American Reservations.
The Rosebud Reservation has A golf course, but if you venture further into the Pine Ridge Reservation, there are no golf courses. For students at Little Wound or Red Cloud or Pine Ridge, there is no immediate golf course.
Often, finding a golf course takes a 125 mile round trip…Not everyone can afford that, and so, it is kinda rare to see a Native American kid doing really well at the state level.
To my knowledge, only one Native American has won an individual medalist honor, that being Corey Jensen from Mission area…..That could be changing soon!
At last year’s Class A state meet, (under horrible conditions) Little Wound sophomore, Lance Christensen Jr. braved the elements and finished in a tie for 6th place. His scores of 82-81 (163) were only 11 shots off medalist honors.
While Christensen will be aiming to climb higher on the podium this fall, he’s not resting on his laurels, he’s giving back to the game that he loves by helping coach, teach and mentor a new generation of golfers coming up on his heels.
From Lance Christensen Jr.’s Social Media:
Hello everyone. This summer I am doing a junior golf camp. Every Tuesday and Wednesday for six weeks! Age Limit of 8-16!!! We will be departing from Little Wound School at around 8:30 AM. Depending on where we are going.
For a long time golf has been my “Happy Place”. I have been very lucky to have my dad Lance Christensen Who introduced me to the game of golf at a young age. I want to give that opportunity to other kids that haven’t had the chance I did to play golf. I have many accomplishments in the game of golf. I am 3 time state qualifier, 13 years of golf experience, I was the regional golf champion this past season, I placed 6th at the state tournament and was selected for the all-state team. I am 16 years old and going to be a junior at Little Wound School. I have had many teachers throughout my years of golf. I cannot wait to share my knowledge of the game.
Giving that we don’t have a golf course. We will be going to gordon golf course at least once a week. If we will not be able to go to gordon we will go to my personal driving range north of Kyle. I would love to have as many kids as I can, but traveling to gordon and the amount of sets we have I will have to put a limit on the amount of kids I can take to the golf course! Although when we are at my personal driving range we can have as many as we want! (On June 3, Christensen spent eight hours on that personal driving range, mowing the grass so the youth golfers would have a chance to work on their games 60 miles away from the nearest golf course).
Please LET ME KNOW if you and your youth are interested or if you don’t live near Kyle I can give you info! You can inbox me and I will try my best to give you all the info I can! Also shout out to Thunder valley CDC, Little Wound School, and Aimee Pond for helping me with this goal!!
Note: On June 4 - First day was an success! Had about 20 kids. They all had a blast! #juniorgolf
That is a solid effort from a young man that will only be a junior this fall for the Mustangs golf team. We wish Lance Jr. and his youth golfers nothing but success as they grow into a game that may just take hold in a place that doesn’t even have a course.
WELL DONE SIR!