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Linwood PS students take the classroom out on the links

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

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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.”

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

“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 three-week 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.

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