I spent this past Father's Day at Kings Valley Golf Course with my father participating in their annual Father Son/Daughter golf tournament. It was great! Seeing all the fathers golfing with either their son or daughter was wonderful. Kings Valley Golf Course put on a great tournament. Kudos to them!

Golf has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and, honestly, I owe it more than I can ever repay. When I graduated from Del Norte High School and went off to college, I never thought I would return to this county, but I am very happy I did. However, I am saddened to see the game that gave me so much when I was growing up is now dying in this county. The next generation club member, golf ball shanker, ground hacker and "hole-in-one" maker aren't populating our local clubs, or, if they are, they are in very small numbers.

This astounds me! It astounds me because every year hundreds of college golf scholarships go unused in the United States because the pool for recruiters to pick from is running dry. There are several reasons why the talent is not available for university recruiters, but for the purposes of this op-ed I will focus on the two main culprits, the first being that it's just not affordable to start the game. Before you even hit a golf ball you sink about $500 into just a beginner set of clubs - not very practical, if you ask me.

The other reason, and this has plagued golf for centuries, is that the game itself is just tough, plain and simple.

Well, I want to help change that, and I feel that with my experience in the game and my continuing instruction with the PGA of America, I might be able to offer some advice that will keep people from leaving the game because it is too hard and expensive. That is why, starting Monday evening on July 14 at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30 and 7:00, and every Monday evening thereafter, I am offering free golf lessons to whoever is interested. I can't help everybody at once, but I can begin the process to introduce people to the game or help them improve if they're already playing.

The free lessons will be held at Kings Valley Golf Course's driving range and will be 30-minute sessions. Range balls are not provided, so a $3 purchase will need to be made through the course. However, I will have golf clubs to use, if you need them. Since this is a small time window, I advise anybody interested to call me ahead of time to assure a session. My number is 951-1047 or you can also email me at This appointment basis allows me to give each session my full attention.

Golf is a game for a lifetime and something anybody can learn to do well enough to enjoy. So pick up the phone, call me today and let's start golfing again, Del Norte County. Every weekend can look like this past Father's Day at Kings Valley.

All it takes is one swing.

James Haban is an advertising account manager for the Del Norte Triplicate.