|PGA Professional David Thompson Introduces Golf to Juniors|
|David Thompson, PGA assistant professional at Crystal Lake (Ill.) Country Club, piloted an afterschool Junior Golf Academy for 60 kids, and during July, a total of 70 kids participated in the PGA Sports Academy.|
CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. – PGA Professional David Thompson (Crystal Lake Country Club) has made it his mission to teach local juniors the game of golf through an active middle school and PGA Sports Academy program.
Thompson piloted an afterschool Junior Golf Academy this past winter that consisted of a six-week program held inside four area middle schools. With foam balls and hitting nets, Thompson set up in cafeterias and gymnasiums, ultimately teaching 60 coed students over the course of the winter. He quickly realized that his students lacked some of the basic athletic skills needed for golf, and thus the summer PGA Sports Academy program was adopted.
The Crystal Lake's PGA Sports Academy took place each Monday during July, wrapping up its final session yesterday (July 23). A total of 70 kids ranging from 3-years-old to 13 participated in the month-long program, learning skills in sports such as football, hockey and Frisbee and applying them to their golf swing.
"One of the biggest challenges we have as instructors is how we teach the game of golf to juniors," said Thompson. "With the PGA Sports Academy, we now have a creative method that also engages them in physical fitness activities.
"Golf is not as fun for kids if you're simply showing them how to grip a club and swing it. Rather than get technical with the kids, we allow them to learn a variety of sports and then apply it to their golf game," added Thompson.
He has also elicited the help of Wendy Sass, TPI-certified golf fitness instructor, to aid in the fitness aspect of the junior program. "Fitness is such an important aspect of golf," said Sass. "Flexibility, mobility, and balance are crucial. After six weeks of training in these areas, it's obvious that the kids' fitness and endurance has grown tremendously."
The PGA Sports Academy is a fun, systematic approach to growing junior participation with PGA Professionals at the forefront of the experience. The curriculum blends five core elements in offering a phased approach to overall mental and physical youth development, including golf skills; physical skills, fitness and nutrition; assessments; sportsmanship, rules and etiquette; and play activities and on-course experiences. More than 1,500 facilities are registered nationwide to host the PGA Sports Academy.
For more information about David Thompson and his programs, visit a href="http://www.dthomgolf.com" target="_blank">DThomGolf.com.
For more information on Play Golf America, PGA Sports Academy, or any other Family Golf Month activity, visit PlayGolfAmerica.com. The site allows users to find and register at participating facilities in their area by searching their city or zip code.
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.