Special to the Enterprise
For Harlan Native and Former PGA Golf Professional Luke Minor, Harlan County will always be a special place filled with many childhood memories.
“I’ve lived in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Mississippi, but Harlan will always be home. I lived here the first sixteen years of my life and the community of Harlan and its members mean so much to me. The people of Harlan County are as fine as any I’ve ever met anywhere in the country. Harlan was my grounding point, where I was raised, and where I got my core values that I’ve carried with me throughout my life. It’s a place that I continue to come back to even though I have no family here. That’s how much this place and its people mean to me.”
Recently, the former James A. Cawood High School and University of Mississippi standout came back to his Harlan County roots to headline a golf clinic at Harlan Country Club sponsored by the Harlan County Youth Association.
During the three-day event, Minor gave demonstrations on every phase of golf from course etiquette to driving the ball consistently.
“I’ve always felt that course etiquette is as important, if not more important, than any other phase of golf. First and foremost, we want to teach these children course etiquette, rules, and safety. Then, we want them to understand that the entire purpose is to have fun and enjoy the experience. Once that foundation is laid, then you can begin building the golf swing starting with the grip, the stance, and the core technique of the swing. It’s equally as important to go through the entire bag, showing the kids how to execute different shots. This grabs their attention and gives them confidence to go out and emulate what you’ve shown them.”
Working with youth golfers has always been a passion for Minor, a trait he learned from his father, Luther, who was the PGA Professional at Harlan Country Club from 1969-1986.
“Dad is as good of a teacher as any I’ve ever seen. The way he teaches kids to play golf at such a young age is incomparable. He first put a golf club in my hands at the age of three and his love and passion for the game of golf has inspired me throughout my life and continues to. I was brought up by him at the Harlan Country Club and from the day I started, he has been my inspiration for playing golf. I would put a child in his hands any day over mine.”
From putting and chipping to iron and bunker play, one-on-one instruction was provided for all who attended.
Minor hopes that many of the youth golfers that attended the camp will participate in golf when they get into high school, applying some of the techniques and principles that they learned throughout the week.
“I told them when we started the week that all of them have the potential to be college golfers at some level. However, the ultimate goal of this week was to make lifelong golfers out of all of them and hopefully, a few of them will completely fall in love with the game like I have. Even if they become recreational golfers and can use golf as an all important business tool someday or if they bring their children out someday and teach them the game, golf can be pleasurable for boys and girls as well as men and women alike at any and all ages. My final message to the kids this week was that we could be standing among a future Masters or U.S. Open Champion in the group, but if all of them learn to enjoy the game, it is then that we have done our job in teaching them this wonderful game.”
Minor now resides in Duffield, Virginia with his three daughters—-Meredithe, who is 22, Samantha, who is 18, and Olivia, who is 10.