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Keene Trace hosts free junior golf clinic ahead of Barbasol Championship

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Posted at 4:17 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 18:44:55-04

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — A couple of hundred kids and teens made it out to the Keene Trace Golf Club Monday for a free junior golf clinic.

From fun games with inflatables to putting exercises, the clinic was a "hole-in-one" for young golf enthusiasts.

"We whacked it and we hit it with the golf club and tried to get it in their mouths," seven-year-old Davis Tarter said while describing a fun game with inflatables.

The event was hosted by First Tee. They use golf to teach kids about character development and life and leadership skills.

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The nine core values they aim to instill in kids are:

  • integrity
  • sportsmanship
  • respect
  • responsibility
  • perseverance
  • courtesy
  • judgment
  • confidence
  • honesty

First Tee executive director Kevin Mims said they talk about these values while out on the course.

"If we're talking about honesty, if we're talking about confidence, we can ask them: 'what does that mean to you not only on the golf course but what does honesty mean at home?'" First Tee executive director, Kevin Mims, said. "What does honesty mean dealing with your peers at school? What does honesty mean when you're out on the playground? What does honesty mean when you deal with mom and dad? It's a character-building system that just uses the game of golf to teach these young people what life is all about and how to succeed later in life."

Mims also said he believes golf is the perfect sport to instill these values because the game requires integrity and self-policing.

"If you do something that is not according to the rules, 99% of the time you're calling that penalty on yourself," he said. "So that relates to in life when you're in business or you're in school. I mean you might cheat on a test, you're the one that knows that so it is calling it on yourself."

A group of Kentucky foster kids also got to take a swing on the course. A program volunteer with Do Something Extraordinary Golf Club, who was in the system himself, confidently said what they're learning is invaluable.

"I think it's really awesome that they really have a chance to hopefully believe that they can do anything," Reuben Watson said. "Just because of their past and their means doesn't have to dictate their future. What we do and what some of the others hope to do is redirect their future and know that they can have a vision and they can dream and hopefully today also they can be kids and enjoy their time here."

Clinic participants also got the chance to watch the PGA tour golfers during their practice round.