Bright’s Creek golf professionals Brian and Jessie Stewart want to see the sport they love so much grow and prosper among Polk County’s youth.
So they’re taking steps to make that happen.
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The Stewarts spent Monday at Tryon Elementary School, introducing the game of golf to one physical education class in each grade. Working with PE instructor Ty Stott, the Stewarts utilized equipment from the Carolinas PGA to work with kids on a program known as SNAG – Starting New at Golf.
“We’re trying to give them access to golf,” Brian Stewart said. “The main thing is how to hold a club, how to swing. This is not technical at all.
“We want to give back to the community, give the kids in the community something that is not football, baseball or soccer.”
The SNAG approach offers kids a simple introduction to the sport, with plastic clubs, tennis-sized balls, color-coded grips and fun targets at which to shoot. Brian Stewart even took a turn as a moving target, donning protective gear and a sticky suit that held any balls launched by students at him.
“When we moved here, one thing we noticed was that there was no access to golf,” Jessie Stewart said. “Kids were not getting exposure. We always said that if we had a chance to grow the game of golf and give back to the community, that’s something we wanted to do.
“This is the perfect place to expose a lot ot kids at one time and make it as fun as possible.”
The Stewarts selected Tryon Elementary to try the program because they have a child enrolled there, but the couple would love to see the program expand to other schools. Through the Carolinas PGA program, they have access to the SNAG equipment for one year, free of charge, and plan to hold summer camps with Polk County Recreation Department as well as free clinics at Bright’s Creek.
“If we had 20 kids at work, we would break them into two different sections, 10 and 10, and have 10 putting and 10 on the range and incorporate putting and the full swing,” Brian Stewart said. “This is the first time we’ve had this, so we want to see how it works for the kids and for us.
“This is a perfect opportunity to see if we can get this program into the school system.”
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Bright’s Creek will hold a series of free golf clinics this summer for kids at the course in Mill Spring.
Planned dates include: June 18 (4:30-5:45 p.m.), July 2 (4:30-5:45 p.m.) and August 6 (4:30-5:45 p.m.).
For more information on the sessions, call Jessie Stewart at (828) 694-4510.