Kansas Golf Teams Team Up to Teach Lawrence Youth
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s golf teams spent Wednesday afternoon with approximately 20 youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence teaching them the basics of golf at Alvamar Golf Club.
KU men’s coach Jamie Bermel, women’s coach Erin O’Neil, their staffs and teams greeted the fourth and fifth graders eager to learn the sport. The children were divided into two groups with the men’s team teaching the students how to hit the ball at the driving range, while the women’s squad educated the groups on the putting aspects of golf on the Alvamar practice putting green.
“I think the main thing is to just introduce these kids to the game of golf,” Bermel said. “Some of them have a little experience and others have never touched a golf club. So we need to give them the basic fundamentals, let them hit a few, putt a few and hopefully they will get some good shots out of it.”
As the day went on it was clear that the Jayhawks were enjoying the experience just as much as the boys and girls were. The KU women’s team was laughing and having fun teaching the basics and then partaking in putting competitions. The Jayhawks’ men’s squad was smiling and enthusiastic as they teed up balls and watched the participants smack them down the range.
“This is a great opportunity to give back to the kids and expose them to golf,” O’Neil said. “You never know what will happen. They might decide they love it and then run with it. Anything we can do to help grown the game is great.”
At the end of the day some great memories were made for both parties. The boys and girls were able to meet some Division I golfers, which showed them that if you work hard enough anything is possible. As for the golf teams, they were able to leave knowing that they helped make a difference in the lives of the children.
“This experience means a lot,” said KU men’s golfer Stan Gautier, a junior from Paris, France. “I’m not from this country but it is always nice to have young kids who want to play golf. It’s not the most popular sport in every country, so it’s nice to see them start young and get the opportunity to be their coach.”
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence serves more than 500 youth daily with chapters across the city. The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence is to maintain a club for all youth without distinction to race, gender, color or creed, to provide behavior guidance and to promote the health, social, educational, vocational and character development for all of its members.
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