Golf program sees success

Published 11:13 am Thursday, June 7, 2012

Walker Sutton, left, and his brother, Garrett, at Cypress Cove Country Club. The Suttons are mong 40 to 50 participants for the first two sessions of the Franklin First Tee affiliate program. SUBMITTED

FRANKLIN—Eight-year-old Olivia Hatch won’t be outdone by her older brother.

So when Aiden began taking classes with the Franklin Affiliate First Tee program this spring at Cypress Cove Country Club, Olivia gained an interest in golf.

“She tries to keep up with everything he does,” said their mother, Laura Hatch of Franklin. “We added her after the first class.”

The six-week classes have 50 to 60 children enrolled, who range from 4 to 17 years old.

“I was hoping it would be successful,” Cypress Cove Country Club Golf Pro Danny

Morgan said. “I’m happy to see it take off.”

Morgan teaches respect, courtesy, responsibility, honesty, sportsmanship, confidence, good judgment, perseverance and integrity.

Values like perseverance are easily taught on a golf course through practice, he said.

“If you don’t hit a shot well, you keep trying it,” Morgan said. “It’s a wonderful program and a different type of teaching method.”

Laura Hatch said her children, who attend Riverdale Elementary, have enjoyed the program. They are in their second session.

“They’ve liked it and they’ve learned a lot,” she said. “I think it’s great.”

The program consists of four sessions per year from March to October. Youth age 4 trough 6 take classes 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sundays and those age 7 and up, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sundays and Tuesdays.

Walker Sutton, 6, and his brother Garrett, 5, are halfway through the second session. Their parents Kevin and Kristi Sutton are avid golfers, and both the boys have taken to it, Kristi Sutton said.

“It’s a sport that will be with them forever,” she said. “It’s just a great game and it teaches you a lot about life.”

The program is a partnership between the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, The First Tee of Hampton Roads, Franklin-Southampton Charities and Cypress Cove Country Club.

The James L. Camp Jr. YMCA in Franklin handles sign-ups. The cost is $10 for Y members and $20 for non-members.