By Paula MacDonald
It has been said that golf is the game of a lifetime, as many continue to enjoy the sport well into their senior years. When it comes to learning this challenging game, there are countless techniques and training strategies; one proven first touch player development program designed to teach people of all ages and ability levels is called SNAG Golf (Starting New at Golf). Developed by pro golfer and University of Florida graduate Terry Anton and partner Wally Armstrong, this fun and approachable way to learn golf builds on the basic fundamentals through the use of two clubs and colorful, “sticky” targets.
A training tool used for aspiring youth players, SNAG Golf has been a component of the Hillsborough and Pinellas County school systems for six years, with over 26,000 students learning to play golf. Through recent efforts of Sun City Center, resident and golf enthusiast Delia Skye and Freedom Fairways golf pro Frank Hinson, a new partnership has developed with SouthShore elementary schools to introduce golf to Sun City Center residents by bringing youth and seniors together.
“Our mission is to inspire kids to enjoy the game of golf for a lifetime,” said Skye, executive director of Kids Green Grass, Inc. a non-profit that helps provide SNAG equipment to area physical education teachers. “By incorporating an intergenerational component here in our community, it gives seniors an opportunity to get outside and enjoy learning the game, while being able to interact with young students who share their golf skills, creating a mutually beneficial learning and mentoring environment.”
Ruskin Elementary physical education teacher Izabella Maxwell has been teaching SNAG curriculum to her students for several years and recently participated in Freedom Fairway’s SNAG (Seniors New at Golf) Golf Olympics with third grade student Christopher Vazquez, who demonstrated a variety of golf skills that he learned through the program.
“The kids really enjoy learning the game of golf, and we look forward to expanding their opportunities further through this partnership,” Maxwell said.
This summer, Freedom Fairways will host a unique two-day a week camp program that will bring Ruskin Elementary students and seniors together to learn the game and develop their skills. SNAG founder Terry Anton donated $5,000 worth of equipment to the 18-hole executive golf course, located at 3940 Upper Creek Dr. in Sun City Center.
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