The PGA head golf professionals from each club in town spent an enjoyable afternoon at Griffith E. Harris Golf Course, where they participated in a 9-hole Tee It Forward event. The special event, which was organized by Griffith E. Harris head golf pro Joe Felder, spread the message that the PGA of America’s Golf 2.0 program is intent on promoting. The 2.0 program is designed to attract more people to the sport by making it less intimidating to novice golfers, who can’t hit their tee shot 200 yards or players like myself, who have lost some distance over the years from spending more and more time in the office and less time on the golf course. It also emphasizes the importance of making the game more user-friendly and family oriented.
Felder, John Budkins (Millbrook Club), Bobby Farrell (Tamarack Country Club), Andy Fellows (Greenwich Country Club), Tom Henderson (Round Hill Club), Gary Murphy (Innis Arden Golf Club), Shaun Powers (Fairview Country Club), Mike Summa (Stanwich Club) and Todd Wingerter (Burning Tree) were the golf pros that attended Wednesday’s event and played nine holes off the shorter gold tees at the Griff.
I learned a lot about how much each golf pro in town does to get people in his respective club more excited about playing the game. Besides providing lessons, organizing club tournaments and running the pro shop, these professionals devote their time to coming up with new programs to make the golf experience at their respective club more fun.
Millbrook Club for instance, has a program featuring a group of golfers who play four holes. Budkins calls them the four-leaf clovers. Innis Arden holds a rookie clinic for golfers who are brand mew to the sport and all the clubs are now using forward tees. Summa received a round of applause, as Felder announced Wednesday that he is this year’s Met PGA Pro of the Year.
Watching the pros tee off from the gold tees Wednesday tempted me to give it a go. Maybe someday soon I’ll sneak in a round at the Griff. But beware if you’re on the course that day – I haven’t played in a while!