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George Waters Spotlight: Edina High School “Golf in the Schools”

November 16, 2016

One of the programs chosen to receive a George Waters Memorial Grant this year was Edina High School’s “Golf in the Schools” program.

The mission of the Edina Schools golf program is to acclimate golf into the physical education curriculum. By doing this, they are teaching the students the golf swing, short game technique, and other related, relevant information about the game of golf.

“These kids come in having never thought about the game of golf and would never have picked up a club had it not been for this program,” said Joe Greupner, Head Golf Professional at Braemar Golf Course. “They then leave actually having some resemblance of a golf swing.”

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Hitting stalls in the Braemar Golf Dome where students from Edina High School had golf sessions.

Edina pays the bus expenses for the students to get to the dome for a one hour class. The school sends six classes per day, three times a week for each class. Golf equipment is shared between the school and Braemar Dome. Each student has an individual hitting stall with unlimited golf balls where they await instruction from the four golf instructors Joe Greupner, George Reynolds, Mike Diebold and Phil Phanager.

Full ball striking swing drills are taught to the students with review of the other fundamentals previously learned in each session. Short game skills, putting and chipping are the principle parts of the instruction. Another point of emphasis is where to play, cost of playing and junior programs as resources for involvement with golf outside of the sessions. More than half of the class expressed significant interest and desire to play in the summer.

The funds given through the George Waters program have been instrumental in the development of the program.

“The money from the grant really made the program what it is. It allowed us to pay for busing for the kids and for more instructors which has given us the ability to affect and teach more students,” Greupner said.

Not only that, there has been great feedback and reinforcement from the school about their new golf program.

“The gym teachers come over raving about how the kids love the program. They are talking about golf and how they want to continue to play golf.”

“It makes it even better that the kids are so appreciative. They are always thanking the instructors and are grateful for the instruction they have received,” added Greupner.

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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