Local 6 year old takes up the game during lockdown

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL (WJHG/WCEP) A local mother and son duo found to beat the lockdown blues in recent weeks.

Young Ben Nelson taking lessons from Earl Boles during lockdown

It involved some clubs, and a willing instructor anxious to be outdoors as well!

"He had started (golf) before." Amber Nelson tells me. "And then as soon as Mr. Earl gave us a call and said hey would you be willing to come back, we can do it distance, we were like yes! We are ready to get out of the house."

The "he" in that sentence is 6 year old Ben Nelson, Amber's son.
The Mr. Earl in that sentence is longtime golf pro and instructor Earl Boles.

After the first several weeks of the lockdown, Amber and Ben were ready to get out and spend some time outdoors, and taking a few golf lessons was the perfect way to do it.

"We're doing school until about noon every day," Amber told me "so the day that he gets to take a break and come do this, it's great. And then he can get back home and focus on school."

And as it turns out, this was an opportunity that was literally sitting in the drawer, Amber tells us.

"So his grandparents are big time golfers. His grandpa had a big time influence on it. And this is actually his birthday, or Christmas present, one of them. So that's how that started, they got him golf lessons and set us up with Mr. Earl. And they actually, he teaches my parents too."

And when contacted, Earl Boles jumped at the chance to take on another student.

"I love doing what I'm doing." Boles told me. "You can teach somebody something that they really can learn something. It's more of a, it's better, does more for you."

And when it comes to teaching the game, well it's well suited for social distancing, you don't necessarily have to get too close to the student.

"I always try to stay three to six feet away from people anyway." the golf instructor says. "And basically I can just teach golf showing them how to grip, how to balance, the take away, all the different type stuff that you teach people to do. And it's been working pretty well."

As you can see, Ben is just starting out, anyone who's ever swung a club knows it's a long process. But it's one Ben seems to enjoy and before things started to open back up, well it was about the only outdoor escape for mother and son!

"He looks forward to it all week," Ben's mother says "it's the only activity we have right now. The only thing that we're doing outside of the house right now."

And even as restrictions loosen up, and more outdoor opportunities arise, Amber says Ben intends to keep swing, keep learning. And he's really looking forward she says to driving the cart in the near future! Coming up at 6, we'll hear from Ben's instructor, Earl Boles.

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