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Riverwood National Golf Course Hosts Impressive After school Program

July 29, 2016

The after school program at Riverwood National Golf Course and Vintage Golf Course in Otsego, now in its twentieth year, is continuing to grow and provide playing opportunities for local youth. The after school program was created from a partnership forged between the local school systems and the course itself.

“Steve Fessler was a huge proponent [in starting the program] with how he loves letting kids play at the facilities,” said Brian Breuer, a 4th Grade teacher in the St. Michael-Albertville school district. “He always wants to help the kids whether its providing more opportunities to play or giving lessons.”

The Monticello, St. Michael-Albertville and Elk River schooling systems are all heavily involved in the program which has grown from only twenty kids to over 75. Breuer along with Fessler, the Section President and Head Golf Professional at Riverwood National, both have kids who attend schools in the St. Michael-Albertville school district.

Fessler’s son, Trey, a freshman at St. Michael-Albertville High School, grew up playing in this after school program. Now, the ninth-grader is poised to become one of the elite high school golfers in the state. Trey finished tied for fifth in the Boys’ Class AAA state tournament this year, providing further evidence of his bright future.

Breuer, who has his kids in the program, says “the biggest thing is that the program takes kids away from the video games and their phones.”

The kids are separated into three different areas for each given day; Vintage Golf Course to play nine holes, the driving range and the putting green. On the driving range and putting green, the day begins with a little instruction from the teachers and volunteers. After, the kids are free to swing away, and the instructors fix and help with the juniors’ swings where they see fit.

“The goal of the program is to not only keep the kids active, but to hopefully instill some fire and make them want to come out and play golf the rest of the summer,” emphasized Breuer. “It’s really a great program out here.”

This after school program serves as a reminder of all the player development programs experiencing success within the Section.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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