Local News

May 18, 2014

‘Learning the stance’

Eton students learn golf basics, patience and respect

— CHATSWORTH — Ansley Walker doesn’t like to wait, she says.

“When I was golfing with my family once, there were — like — a lot of people going through the course and so I was just sitting there,” the sixth-grader said with a heavy sigh. “But it turned out to be fun!”

Waiting for her turn wasn’t the only time Ansley had to show patience with golf, she said. It can be frustrating at times, she says, when you miss the ball or — worse — hit the ground with your driver and create a divot.

But Ansley, a student at Eton Elementary School in Murray County, says she is learning patience, along with perfecting her long game.

Eton students visited Indian Trace Golf Course last Monday afternoon to take what they’ve learned at the school since fall to a real course. Eton teachers have been using the First Tee program (thefirsttee.org) to bring golf into the classroom.

Laura Greeson, the physical education teacher at Eton, said this is the first school year there has been a golf program at the school. The First Tee program provides Greeson teaching packages to help educate students on golf basics including setting up a tee and putting on a green.

“The hardest thing, I would have to say, is learning the stance,” Ansley said. “I’ve gotten better.”

Jacob Herndon, also a sixth-grader, said Monday afternoon was his first time on a golf course — “ever.”

“I like the giant teepee,” he said, pointing to Indian Trace’s signature wooden teepee that sits near the first few holes. “I’ve never golfed before, except for some gym class. So this is cool.”

Jacob was surprised at all the physical effort that went into golf, he said. He didn’t realize it would be as tough as “football and baseball.” Running to get wayward golf balls requires the most stamina, he said.

“Sometimes I just have to rest,” he said. “But then, I get right back to it.”

Andrew Dyer, also in sixth grade, said growing up in a family of golfers gives him a bit of a learning curve.

“I’m — well — I’m just OK,” he said of his game, though he says he’s gotten a hole-in-one at a professional course near Gatlinburg, Tenn.

“It was a pretty big golf course,” he said. “It felt pretty good to get that hole-in-one. I felt pretty good about myself.”

Andrew said his favorite part of golfing is spending time with family.

“My family, we are close,” he said. “Like, if someone gets hurt, they always help you. Sometimes, it’s just some of the (immediate) family that kicks in. But, no. With us, everyone helps you. The whole family.”

Gleeson said golf is more than just a sport and teaches the students how to be patient and respectful to each other.

“A lot of these kids might not ever be exposed to golf,” she said. “This enriches them.”

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