BEAVER GOLF IMPACTED MY LIFE
My name is Jayda Dookie and I just graduated from Suncoast Community High School. There have been many people who have crossed my path during my tenure in the golf community. Many people are responsible for shaping me into the person I am today, however, none as influential as Coach Glen.
Coach Glen has utilized golf as a medium to teach life lessons that I will carry for the rest of my life. I met Coach Glen almost a decade ago through the Junior Golf Foundation of America. My past coach had decided to pursue his dreams as a police officer, leaving me coachless. A friend Vrishti, also a Beaver Golf Alum, had just started working with Coach and introduced me. A couple weeks later I had a coach. I was quite shy when we started working together. I wouldn’t speak during my lessons or add any input, that was until Coach took away my driver. My family and I recently learned of my scoliosis. Coach took one look at my drive and determined that my overswing was irritating my diagnosis even more. He took away my woods, and within a month I loathed him. For the next six months I was left woodless, unable to use them until I got my swing under control. Deep down I knew he had taken them away for a good reason, but the rage I held turned into fuel for determination. I spent my time after school every day on the range, practicing for hours, trying tirelessly to control my swing in order to get my clubs back. In those few months Coach Glen taught me unforgettable lessons of self-discipline, patience, and dedication. He made me realize my health is more important than winning and sometimes tough love is the only way to learn. Without Coach Glen I would not have the work ethic or positive mindset instilled in me today.
Over the past 7 years I have been his student. I have gained life lessons and leadership skills as well as opportunities to further myself through golf. Because of Beaver Golf I was able to learn how to teach young students how to play golf despite my initial shyness inhibiting me. I met so many new people I can share both my life and the love of golf with. Coach Glen also introduced me to caddying and the Evans Scholarship program, a Scholarship dedicated to helping caddies go through all four years of college. Caddying is an experience that has gifted me people and leadership skills while also lighting the path to my future career in international business. I have grown tremendously since the moment I walked on the golf course, and I can say confidently that my development flourished after becoming a part of Beaver Golf .
UnIQLO Adam Scott Junior ChampIonship
This weekend, the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and First Tee invited several Beaver Golf students to participate in the Day in a Life Program at the UNIQLO / Adam Scott Junior Championship! The program provided an opportunity for the golfers to be introduced to an alternate golf career path that includes Tournament Administration, Tournament Operations and Communications. They also had an opportunity to interact with Adam Scott, who has won 31 times on the PGA Tour.
The tournament was a 3-day tournament at Hammock Creek Golf Club in Stuart. Lily Bieber, Annika Collado, Cienna Collado and Sydney Rogers participated on Saturday, 5/27/23, while Mateo Muñiz and Danny Tadeo closed out the event on Sunday, 5/28/23. They were able to assist the starter, finalize scoring, serve as rules officials which were also responsible for pace of play, and sometimes they simply handled housekeeping tasks like delivering lunch to the staff. The final day also provided an opportunity to assist with course management when a downpour rendered the greens unplayable.
The overall consensus from the golfers:
It was COOL!!! Very enjoyable!!
Danny left motivated to play more tournaments and to learn more about the golf industry.
Lily is the newest in her golf journey and she was blown away by the skill level of the juniors that were playing in the tournament. She would have gone back for another day but they had family obligations.
Annika was impressed by how serious pace of play is in the AJGA.
Mateo really appreciated the systems they had in place to communicate and enforce the rules during tournament play.
Last year, Beaver Golf was able to provide golfers for the Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast in the PLAY4JA Golf Tourney in response to a last minute request for players. This year, we were proactive in partnering by sponsoring a tee sign, a foursome and providing golfers to complete the foursomes. Yesterday's event was successful for Beaver Golf in several ways.
The organization is all about junior achievement and I saw this event as an opportunity to showcase the talent of a few of my homeschool students who have the ability to play competitive golf. One of those golfers is Shay Atkins but when we asked him to participate, he said No. While this was disappointing, I will never force a golfer to do something they are not ready to do. Fortunately, after taking some time to really think about the opportunity he chose to participate. In the following weeks, he would play practice rounds and yesterday he won one of the closest to the pin prizes!!
After receiving his award, Shay went over to shake the hands of his Wawa playing partners and thanked them for the opportunity explaining that he had to leave because he had a football game to get to and he was the quarterback. Their response: "Shay!! You get to play golf in the morning and go be the quarterback in the afternoon? You are living our dream!!!"
Three other homeschool golfers were invited to play. Sofia Mayer, Ike Tobin and Vivian Sterijevski. Vivian was the only homeschool golfer to play last year and this year she had the honor of sinking a birdie putt for her team.
It is my hope that this kind of friendly tournament play will instill confidence in these players to the level that they will believe that they have what it takes to play good golf at a competitive level. The more they play the more confident they will become.
Coach Danni Rocco suggested we sponsor a foursome this year because she had two students who are aspiring to make their high school golf team, Lily Bieber and Sophia Nores, and another, Yuvani Bhandary, who wants to become a leader on the Palm Beach Central team. This tournament provided an opportunity for Coach Danni to offer an on-course lesson to all three at the same time. Additionally, they were able to meet each other and build new friendships.
"The Play4JA Golf Tournament was a great experience. My students had a fun time meeting new people and playing as a team. It was very nice seeing them take what they've learned on the range and apply it on the golf course. While all three contributed to team birdies, the most memorable moment of the round was when Lily made her first solo birdie ever." -Coach Danni Rocco
Several of my tournament players rounded out the fantastic 12 that represented Beaver Golf. Annika Collado, Sydney Rogers and Danny Tadeo returned for a second year. They were joined by graduating senior, Jayda Dookie who took home two of the remaining three closest to the pin prizes.
It is an honor to develop players that are willing to give up their Saturday mornings to help out a great cause. The event raised $27,000 for Junior Achievement programming.
IT CAN BE DONE
Healthy Habit: Family
If you did a search on the internet about the importance of family, you would probably find a ton of studies with a lot of feel good terms but when you are kid you are probably not thinking about building a foundation for future relationships and success. Instead, some kids are forming opinions about family based on their experiences. If they get their way, they love their parents but if they don't-their parents are the worst. Sibling relationships can also vary moment to moment- love and hate them. The hope is that with maturity their viewpoints will adjust.
When you are a student athlete and your parents are driving you all over for lessons and competitions, it is easy to take your parents for granted. If their other siblings are not athletes this can also create tension in the family. It is not easy to balance the priorities but it can be done. Check out the articles below:
Thank you Honda
Tuesday at The Honda Classic is always very eventful. This year, Shannon Miller who was once the United States Most Decorated Olympic Gymnast was the keynote speaker and the Women's Leadership Forum. First Tee Participant of the Year, Jayda Dookie and Annika Collado were invited to attend to the breakfast where they were able to meet Ms. Miller and Barbara Nicklaus (that's Jack's wife).
Jayda said Ms. Miller was very inspirational and her lesson about having a gold medal mindset was one that she will use as she prepares to enter college next year. She also appreciated her encouragement to keep a great team around you if you want to stay positive.
Annika agreed that it was definitely worth taking the day off from school. She will be applying the gold medal mindset this week as she works hard to catch up on assignments the rest of the week before returning to caddy at Pine Tree Golf Club. One of her other highlights was meeting Barbara Nicklaus.
Later in the day, several Beaver Golf students attended a free clinic hosted by First Tee. Dennis Walters and Gussie put on another wonderful show and Professional Golfer Andrew Kozan shared some insights into how he decided to pursue a career in golf. He cautioned the golfers that while golf is fun, you need to treat it like a job if you want to make it your career which means dedicating a significant portion of your day to practice if you really want to have a chance. He also encouraged the golfers to eat healthy and get fit because without your body a golfer does not have a career.
The clinic closed with two First Tee participants exhibiting club head speed with the driver. Mateo Muñiz was one of those, Carl Mistretta, Executive Director of First Tee-Florida Gold Coast was very complimentary of his talent and Beaver Golf in his introduction.
Finally, all of the participants were able to celebrate 42 years of The Honda Classic Cares support of First Tee by posing for a picture with a check for $1.6 million which represents the total amount that the program received over those years. Thank you Honda, you have been amazing.