Getting In The Swing of Things

July 29, 2014

In the world of golf, it is often said that your own bag carries all of the essential tools required for ultimate success. Perhaps true on the fairways, but for some of today’s inner-city youth – this longstanding cliche reaches no further than the freshly mowed grass upon which it was adopted years ago.

For Detroit PAL, salient lifestyle challenges faced by our children are combatted on a daily basis. By engaging in survey-proven mentoring techniques, our very own trained adult role models strive to equip youngsters with crucial resources necessary for success, no matter what the course.

Survey findings brought forth by Director of Program Administration Fred Hunter, indicate the third most influential person in the lives of our youth athletes is their coach. Tireless efforts to spark youth commitment to sport within the city of Detroit have led to the inception of two, first-class golf programs, orchestrated by Detroit PAL Associate Athletic Director Brandon Scott. Aggregated by age, the coexisting groups maintain customized mentoring and physical demonstration of golf fundamentals.

As a proud partner of Detroit PAL, The United States Golf Association’s (USGA) The First Tee D.R.I.V.E. Program (Develops Rewarding Inspiring Values For Everyone) provides educational golf experiences for children ages five, through eight. Using introductory and modified golf equipment, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at Rouge Park Golf Course becomes a safe space for kids to explore their own personal abilities.

The D.R.I.V.E program combines physical motions of other sports – including tennis, baseball, football and bowling  – to begin developing the four main types of golf shots:

Putt, Chip, Pitch & Full Swing

photo 2The National Golf Foundation (NGF) has revealed annual youth participation evaluations; the number of youth golfers across the nation has declined by about 24%. And in recent years, the golf community has lost a total of nearly 1 million up-and-coming golfers. Other studies (Sporting World) indicate that there are 18,000 golf destinations in the United States, making up for more than fifty percent of all golf courses on the planet. Crowned as one of the most unique sports in the world, golf requires extreme levels of situational awareness and mental control – qualities being nourished everyday in Detroit PAL athletes.

“You aren’t reacting to a ball or a puck, golf is all up to you”, said Wayne State University Golf (WSU) Coach Mike Horn. “Standing there waiting to make the right decision for yourself, sometimes it is the most challenging thing.”

Student-Athletes of PAL who fall outside the age restrictions to the D.R.I.V.E Program are greeted with the opportunity to take part in Detroit PAL Golf Lessons. Similar to The First Tee, PAL’s program success rests on acquired personal development and enjoyment – one of the many reasons PAL is proud to bring aboard golf expert and leadership figure, Coach Mike Horn.

photo 4The four-time GLIAC Coach of the Year, and Wayne State University Head Golf Coach conducts unique sessions rooted in the practice of proper golf etiquette, developing proper form, execution of technique and personal discipline. “Sometimes, golf shadows life more than any other sport, because in life, it’s all up to you to determine your path. It comes down to learning to deal with challenges, and adapting from there”. Horn brings to PAL a wealth of experience, in his 14th year with the Warriors he has seen his players awarded with over 50 collegiate awards, including 30 All-Academic conference accolades.

“After getting the ball in the air and seeing that they can do it on their own – to see their faces and their smiles, it’s amazing.”

- Wayne State University Head Coach Mike Horn

For more information and registration details, visit Detroit PAL’s  Golf Homepage.