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Golf students become the teachers in new youth program


April 04, 2005

MESA, Ariz. — Arizona State University Professional Golf Management students were awarded a $1,000 Community Action Grant in March from Associated Students of ASU to establish youth golf clinics for the East Valley Boys & Girls Club Williams Campus branch.

The clinics are intended to teach the Boys & Girls Club members the game of golf, as well as self-control, decision-making skills, integrity and other life skills.

"Through our clinics, children will be offered direction and aid into making smart life decisions," says Peter McSparran, PGM student who is the project director.

The grant allows for the purchase of equipment and supplies, teaching aids and prizes.

The ASU PGM program is partnering with the The First Tee youth program, which focuses on providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

"The First Tee is helping us implement its Life Skills curriculum so that we are not starting from square one, considering the short timetable on this community outreach activity," says McSparran.

The PGM students will work with the Boys & Girls Club members on the TARGET program once a week for six-weeks, starting March 24. During each 75- minute session, students will learn six core lessons that are representative of the word TARGET. For example, the first week's theme is "Take aim", week two is "Anyone" can play, week three is "Respect" and so on. The program will be held on the new Golf Driving Range and is open to boys and girls ranging in age from six years old up to age 14.

McSparran and others see this activity as benefiting ASU students, the Boys & Girls Club participants and The First Tee.

"ASU students gain teaching skills with youth, while participants learn how to become better members of their communities," says McSparran. "It's great exposure for The First Tee program, too."

Curt Hudek, PGM program coordinator and PGA professional, adds that this program fits in well with the PGA testing requirements.

"The teaching aspect allows ASU students to meet their golf clinic requirements without having to leave the campus," says Hudek.

The club will be required to give a presentation to Associated Students of ASU on the program, identifying what was done and what they plan to do in the future.

"One of the things I would like to see come out of this is to perpetuate this program with inner-city school districts and schools like T.J. Pappas School for children of homeless families throughout the academic year," says McSparran.

For more information on the program, contact McSparran through the PGM office at (480) 727-1180.

Visit the Professional Golf Management Program Web site for more information on the PGM Program.