By AMBLE SMOKER
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Cherokee Choices and the Cherokee Youth Center (CYC) recently teamed up with the Sequoyah National Golf Club to provide a five-week co-ed youth golf clinic to members of the Cherokee community. The golf clinic introduced students to the basic fundamentals of the game of golf and was available to members of Cherokee Choices and the Cherokee Youth Center Boys and Girls Club ages 10-14. PGA instruction was provided by PGA members Wayne “Carr” Crowe and Kenny Cashwell of the Sequoyah National Golf Club.
“The golf clinic is a great way for the youth in our community to learn the game of golf while getting instructions from PGA members,” said Candy Crowe, CYC coordinator. “We have a beautiful golf course and a lot of talented kids in our community who could benefit from the exercise they would receive from playing a round of golf.”
The golf clinic was the brainchild of Candy Crowe and Robin Callahan, of Cherokee Choices, after they saw an advertisement on a social media website about the societal limitations girls have when choosing to play a sport.
“We were playing golf and started talking about the limits young girls have on them and what sports they play or are introduced to,” said Candy Crowe. “We started talking about how cool it would be to introduce the girls at the Cherokee Youth Center, and in the community, to the game of golf. After our first meeting, we decided on conducting a golf clinic for boys and girls. Once we advertised the clinic, the spots were filled within days.”
The success of the golf clinic was largely dependent on the willingness to try and learn new recreation activities from the kids. During the event, the kids were separated into two groups where they worked on hitting the ball at the driving range and putting on the practice greens at Sequoyah National. At the conclusion of each day, the children had a contest where they individually hit from the practice mats as the other participants looked on. The contest wasn’t simply to see who could hit the ball the furthest but rather to encourage participation and demonstrate the skills they had acquired during the clinic.
“I think it’s important to offer children the opportunity to learn different sports,” said Candy Crowe. “There are a variety of sports we could offer to our children and we should never limit our children to anything.”
Callahan commented, “When parents think of sports for their kids, they often think of classics like baseball, basketball, football. These are great, but may not be a good fit for all kids. Providing sports and activities like golf, yoga, dance, archery, etc. provides kids the opportunity to excel, increase self-esteem, create a healthy body, and cultivate skills they can use for life.”
Carr Crowe, PGA member and head golf professional at Sequoyah National, related, “I hope the kids continue playing golf and maintain interest by introducing their family and friends to the game. Golf can teach many lessons that apply to everyday life such as honesty, respect, patience, confidence, and humility. I hope these kids see the possibility of playing golf competitively and give themselves another opportunity to compete. Most importantly, I hope they realize they have a place at Sequoyah National where they will always be welcome and encouraged to visit to grow their game.”
To view or purchase photos from this event, visit: http://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/GOLF/Cherokee-Youth-Center-golf/