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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Teens Green At Golf, But In The Swing

‘I do golf to show that players can be poor and young like me, not just rich and retired,” Marissa Harrison says, mugging for her friends before heading to the tee.

It’s a blustery morning at the Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Course and among the perfectly coiffed gray heads and spiked shoes are Marissa and a dozen other kids in tennis shoes.

They carry odd-sized clubs and rusty putters. They poke tees in their hair and friends’ rears. They laugh all the time.

“I’m not very good so I have to joke,” says Marissa’s sister, Danielle, a 13-year-old with a killer swing - sometimes. “I don’t take it too seriously. It’s just for fun.”

The Harrison girls signed up for golf lessons after their dad tried a round with his brother. Try it, you’ll like it, he urged his daughters.

They do, even though their balls shy from the green. Golf pro Mark Hatala taught them golfing etiquette and rules, stance and grip, swing and scoring.

“Golf teaches them patience and good behavior,” Mark says as Marissa replaces her divot. “They learn a lot of honesty and integrity.”

The kids laugh at the honesty and integrity line, like they laugh at their shots, their friends’ putting, their double-digit scores for one hole. They don’t need a pro to teach them the value of humor.

Mark says kids take to golf because they know how to relax and have fun. Marissa, who’s 14 and says she may join Coeur d’Alene High’s golf team, is proof he’s right.

“The last time I used this club, it was magic. I actually hit fairly well,” she says, eyeballing the white flag whipping in the wind on the green 50 yards away. “Let’s see if it still has magic in it.”

It doesn’t. First it slices through the air above the ball, then sends the ball skittering toward a tree. Marissa takes five shots to sink her ball, but saunters back to the group wearing a cocky smile.

“I got a hole in one,” she brags to the boys who played a different hole. Her friends roll their eyes and Marissa grins. “Well, you can always dream, can’t ya?”

Ghost town

Some people call it an old chestnut, but Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” has always been a favorite play of mine. The Lake City Playhouse will open its 30th season Friday with George and Emily and “Our Town’s” folksy narrator on stage at 8 p.m.

The show will run weekends through Sept. 24. When you buy tickets, don’t stop with one. The Playhouse has a crazy season that jumps from Little Red Riding Hood in “Into the Woods” to “The Nerd” and “Taming of the Shrew.” Whew.

The season will end with two definite crowd-pleasers: “The Wizard of Oz” and “Grease.” Call 667-1323 for tickets.

Adoption works

Kinko’s has the right idea. It adopted Coeur d’Alene’s Winton Elementary this year, which means it will give free copies and discounted materials and services to the school. There are lots of schools out there. Any other businesses interested in adopting one?

Mascot mania

Students who bought parking permits at North Idaho College this year probably met Teo, the gray cat who seems to manage the parking office. Shoppers at Vertical Earth, a bike shop in downtown Coeur d’Alene, most likely have stumbled on Archie, the reddish dog who serves as a doormat.

Where have furry or, maybe, not so furry animals greeted you while you shopped? Any landed on your head or crawled down your arm? Squawk about the best mascots in your community to Cynthia Taggart, “Close to Home,” 608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene, ID, 83814; fax to 765-7149; or call 765-7128.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo