Young brother, sister swing together

Published 6:00 am Sunday, July 5, 2009

Her dad said she needed to learn a sport, said 9-year-old Madison O’Connell, so she chose golf. And, of course, if she was going to play, her little brother wanted to play, too.

Both are now taking golf lessons at Cross Creek Golf in Chelsea.

Watching instructor and owner Doug Richardson instruct the kids in how to hit a ball into the net he had set up, I noticed it was a little difficult for 6-year-old Davis to keep his mind — and his body — from wondering. But when his sister rang the net, he had to keep up with her.

“You know how you throw a baseball, you swing under like this,” Richardson asked Davis as he demonstrated with a golf ball. “Well, you swing the same way with your golf club.”

It was like a light suddenly came on in the child’s mind, and when he swung, his ball went into the net, too.

Richardson, a certified instructor, offers group lessons and private instruction by appointment to children and adults ranging from beginners to advanced. He also teaches after school golf lessons and holds tournaments.

If a person just wants to relax and enjoy a bucket of balls in private, in the peaceful surroundings of Cross Creek, he or she can do that, too, he said.

Richardson and wife Karen moved out to Chelsea from Hoover nine years ago.

“When we bought the house and property, all of this was covered in tall weeds,” he said. “You couldn’t see the creek or even tell there was a pond right out there.”

While cleaning up the place, they found among the weeds an old sign that read “Cross Creek Farms” and decided it was a fitting name for the golf course, too, since a creek runs across the property.

A barn, once home to horses, has been renovated and is now the Cross Creek Golf clubhouse, housing a pro shop and club repair shop.

Richardson has been in the golfing industry, instructing and doing repairs, since 1997. Besides being a certified instructor, he is certified to custom build and fit clubs, which he also does at the Chelsea location.

Cross Creek Golf, located at 2840 Highway 39, can be reached by phone at 678-8500 or on their Web site at