In April, I received a text from one of my students asking if I would be willing to teach a 9-year old boy with down syndrome. I did not hesitate one bit. I was actually honored that she thought of me.
She later explained that she used golf as a way to encourage him to complete assignments by promising that he could watch a putting video when it was completed. He especially loves watching Rickie Fowler play. Clearly, he has a love for golf and that's something I cannot teach. When she told me that he enjoyed throwing the basketball in the hoop and was successful most of the time, I knew he had the ability to learn the range of motion needed to develop his swing.
Within two weeks, Mom had called me and we were ready for the first lesson. He was more interested in putting than developing a swing so that is where we started. My priority in the first lesson was to get to know him and for him to get to know me. If he did not feel comfortable with me or was not enjoying the time, he would not want to return.
Three months later, our lessons start at the tee, followed by fairway practice then his favorite putting and we usually end up practicing bunker shots. I have so much fun with him. He makes me laugh and I am truly humbled by his progress as a player.
I recently learned that one of my students would be attending school at home. His Mom told me that after observing the environment in the public school system as a substitute teacher she discovered that her son was not challenged academically. Having spent a considerable amount of time with him in golf lessons, I can attest that he is a very intelligent young boy and I look forward to seeing him grow as a golfer and as a person.
I have talked to other parents who have elected to homeschool their children and while quality of education is important, I believe character building is a big factor. As a golfer, character is paramount. Counting strokes requires the golfer to be honest. If you accidentally hit your ball while taking a practice swing it counts. If you move your ball out of a difficult lie, it counts. If you hit the ball into the water, it counts. Everything counts in golf and everything counts in life.
I have been playing since I was five but I practice every morning and any chance I get in-between lessons. I love golf and it is my hope that my students will grow to love it as much as I do. Some of my students have aspirations of attaining college scholarships and beyond so I talk to them constantly about commitment, discipline and perseverance. All of these traits apply to the decisions we make daily.
If you have decided to homeschool your child or know someone who has because character building is important, allow me to be a partner in that endeavor. I have recently relaunched a 7-week Junior Golf Group Class on Tuesdays at Park Ridge Golf Course.
Start date: September 11, 2018
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Registration: Contact Coach Glen
Registration Fee: $65 golf clubs provided (payment by cash, check or credit card will be collected on day 1). Parents will sign a liability waiver at this time as well.
Attire: Traditional golf attire (dress shorts/collared shirts), age appropriate athletic attire and gym shoes are permitted.
Duration: 7-weeks, students are welcome to take the series as often as they wish.
Meeting Place: The deck between the pro shop and the cafe.