Hitting a few hole-in-ones at mini putt may look easy, but golf is a much more masterful sport, requiring more athletic skill than one would think.
Christin Thomson formally co-owned the Dairy Queen with her sister, which had been a family business for over 60. After selling the business last November, Thomson was able to put more time and dedication to her passion.
Thomson went away to university to play golf and competed in many tournaments. She then found that she was also passionate about teaching golf, but was left needing to figure out how to make it happen.
While 2020 was a difficult and uncertain year for many, it also presented something many wanted more of- time. Thomson said the extra time she got last summer was what helped her to turn her passion project into a full-time job.
“A couple of years ago people had reached out to me and asked me for lessons. Because I was busy running my other business, I was only able to do a few lessons here and there, but it helped me realize that I do enjoy doing it,” Thomson said. “Then last year with COVID our business was only able to be drive-through and it actually gave me freedom and a lot more time to teach.”
Thomson said that since selling the Dairy Queen, she feels good about taking what she started last year and hopes to build a strong junior golf program for those aged 18 and under.
Thomson said she is looking to fill the void in northwestern Ontario for junior golf, because of limited coaching and opportunities.
“I want to help these kids and show them opportunities that are available in this game and not just playing but in a lot of different areas,” Thomson said.
Thomson said deciding when a child should start golfing, depends on the child. With children under 10, a combination of golf and athletic skills development will help them to move forward.
“It can be very intimidating,” Thomson said. “It’s not an easy sport, so it’s just making it fun for the kid to be able to be out there in an environment where they can learn golf, but they can be around other kids and see it as something that’s fun to do rather than something that’s very difficult and just for older people.”
Thomson said she hopes people realize that golf is a sport that can thrive in the community just like soccer or hockey.
“Any sport no matter whether it’s golf, soccer, hockey, they only survive if there’s time, attention and energy put into them,” Thomson said. “If anything, it just makes people realize more so that we do need to spend time on developing these kids because they’re the future of the golf courses. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can definitely be done.”
Thomson will primarily be teaching at Kitchen Creek and people can book lessons on her website at christinthomsongolf.com.
Thomson said she is limited to what she can do right now because of pandemic restrictions, adding that she is limited to mainly individual lessons or only having groups of four or five, which she offered last year.
With the province’s promise of more vaccinations by June, Thomson said she is hoping to offer larger golf clinics with more than five people by the middle of summer.
Thomson said ultimately, her goal is to make golf more accessible to juniors and women.
“I definitely feel like they’re the people that they’re either intimidated by the game or they’re more limited in resources,” Thomson said. “I really want to make it more of a sport that they feel more welcome and get more enjoyment out of the game.”
Thomson said she is grateful for the community’s support and is excited to see where her next career takes her.