Lin­wood PS stu­dents take the class­room out on the links

School pro­gram that in­tro­duces kids to golf­ing looks to ex­pand af­ter in­au­gu­ral sea­son

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - VERON­ICA REINER

MANY A GOLFER WOULD ar­gue that a bad day on the links is bet­ter than a good day at the of­fice. Re­cently, a group of lo­cal stu­dents have been dis­cov­er­ing if that ap­plies to school, as well.

On June 18, the Lin­wood Pub­lic School Golf Club will be wrap­ping up the first sea­son of what or­ga­niz­ers hope will be­come a tra­di­tion for many years to come.

The in­spi­ra­tion for the club of 20 stu­dents came from teacher and club or­ga­nizer Jeff Pfohl’s pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I did it when I was at an­other school in Water­loo, and an­other teacher or­ga­nized it,” ex­plained Pfohl. “So I thought it was a great idea and I thought we’d try do­ing it here in Lin­wood.”

Prac­tices be­gin in the morn­ing on Mon­days and Thurs­days start­ing at 7:15 a.m. un­til 8 a.m. at the Elmira Golf Club at 40 El­dale Rd.

“The kids love it,” said Pfohl. “We had to can­cel be­cause of weather the one day, and they were ac­tu­ally quite up­set at school about it. I took that as a good thing.

“What’s re­ally great about it is you get to see the kids in a dif­fer­ent light, and they get to see us in a dif­fer­ent light,” he added. “What’s re­ally great is the golf pro who’s help­ing us is ac­tu­ally a sup­ply teacher. His name is Ryan Lawrence.”

Lawrence has been an el­e­men­tary school sup­ply teacher with the Water­loo Re­gion District School Board for the past eight years. He be­gan golf­ing when he was just 12 years old. He is also an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sional at the Elmira Golf Club since 2013 and re­ceived his pro card in golf the same year.

“[The kids] have seen him be­fore and it helps make that con­nec­tion that you other­wise wouldn’t have,” said Pfohl. “We all see each other in a dif­fer­ent light. There’s lots of jok­ing around, and they’re learn­ing a lot so far. I can tell you that.”

“It’s awe­some to be able to take the ‘class­room’ onto the golf course and be able to pro­vide the stu­dents with a unique ex­pe­ri­ence that will hope­fully cre­ate a life-long pas­sion for the game of golf,” added Lawrence. “On a per­sonal note, I find it so neat that through this pro­gram I’m able to share my pas­sion for golf with some of the stu­dents that I’ve taught in school.”

No ex­pe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary for stu­dents look­ing to sign up.

“The pur­pose of this pro­gram is to in­tro­duce the game of golf in a fun-ori­en­tated set­ting where abil­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence level are sec­ondary to learn­ing and en­joy­ment,” said Lawrence.

It is avail­able for any stu­dent in Grades 4 through 8. The ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes six ses­sions over a three­week pe­riod. Both or­ga­niz­ers want to see the club con­tinue.

“It would be awe­some if it be­came a yearly pro­gram for the kids to look for­ward to,” said Lawrence.

The Elmira Golf Club of­fers a va­ri­ety of other pro­grams for just about any­one in­ter­ested, in­clud­ing ju­nior clin­ics, ju­nior pro­grams, pri­vate lessons, and group lessons for be­gin­ners and more ad­vanced golfers. More de­tails are avail­able at www.elmi­ragolf­club.com.

[VERONIC REINER / THE OBSERVER]

The stu­dents in the Lin­wood Pub­lic School golf club wrap up their ses­sion on June 11 just be­fore school starts with en­thu­si­asm. Their fi­nal golf prac­tice will be June 18.

Kim Droum­stekas and Jeff Pfohl run the schoo’s golf club.

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