Youngsters learn life lessons in Junior Golf Academy
WILMINGTON | Youth, golf and Jake Hunt all come together under one golf umbrella called the Wilmington Junior Golf Academy, a nonprofit organization.
Hunt founded the academy to help junior golfers maximize their educational opportunities and enhance their golfing skills. As a nonprofit, the funding comes from donations from individuals, businesses, bequests and fundraising events.
In teaching golf skills, the academy aims for more than just low scores.
“The academy is all about kids learning about golf as it relates to their behavior and discipline to gain skills that will form their character through life’s journey,” Hunt said. “The game alone requires dedication, discipline, sharing fairness and golf etiquette.”
When the academy holds classes, Arnold Palmer’s rules of golf etiquette are reviewed and emphasized. Hunt explains how the rules of golf coincide with the rules of life. In addition, each child receives a copy of the “Pyramid of Success” by legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
The academy recently was recognized as one of the most outstanding outsourced programs of the Community Boys and Girls Club of Wilmington.
On the academy’s Web site – www.wilmingtonjuniorgolfacademy.com – Hunt says, “My ultimate goal is to build a teaching center that any child can come to for free, and to develop a scholarship program that any child in the academy will be eligible to receive.
On Saturdays a golf clinic is held at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course.
During the clinic, Robert Persuit watched his 6-year-old son drive the golf ball down the range with impressive distance.
“My son loves anything to do with golf – he even watches the PGA on television,” Persuit said. “He also likes to be competitive and enjoys the friends he makes here at the golf range.”
Katherine Johnson, 7, was also practicing.
“She wears her happy socks when she is going to an event that she really likes,” said her mother, Courtney Johnson. “The academy has taught Katherine golf etiquette, proper dress and to respect others. All of these are great lessons that she can keep for a lifetime.”