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.