As part of a recent professional development exercise, Sedalia School District 200 physical education teachers got hands-on experience with new equipment that will help them teach golf to students of all ages.
SNAG – Starting New At Golf – “contains all the basic elements of golf, but in a modified form,” according to a news release from Midwest PGA. The Feb. 18 session at Sedalia Middle School was part of the group’s SNAG-A-School program, which aims to expand the game of golf by bringing it to students. The equipment and curriculum allow students to learn the four basic golf strokes (full shots, pitching, chipping and putting) easily and safely.
Sedalia 200 will start out with two sets of SNAG equipment thanks to a generous donation from McCarthy Automotive Group.
Jeff Burey, director of Midwest PGA’s “Golf in School” programs, led the session both in the classroom and in the SMS gymnasium, where the teachers were able to put the equipment to use. Assisting Burey was Sedalia Country Club Head Golf Professional Wayne Ogle, who will provide ongoing training for the teachers.
“The instructors for this program were amazing,” said Susan Christian, who teaches at the middle school. “They showed true passion for what they are doing and it was a great learning experience for me.”
Matt Clark, P.E. teacher at Horace Mann Elementary, said: “The equipment used for SNAG is of the highest quality. I feel this will greatly enhance our students’ exposure and participation in golf, as well as help identify potential competitive golfers for the future.”
As the teachers pitched and chipped in the gym with the specially designed clubs and balls, Burey reminded them of one of the classroom lessons: “Good form leads to good function.” In a wrap-up session back in the classroom, he said the goal is to introduce the game, equipment and scoring concept to students early on. As for the curriculum, he said the teachers’ individual creativity will drive how they use the equipment.
“The impact this will have on our students is that it will give every student the chance to learn the proper techniques on how to hold a golf club and have fun while doing it,” Christian said. “Even students who have never golfed before will succeed with this program because it has easy, step-by-step instructions and visual aids to help in the learning process. Who knows? There may be a PGA champion in our mix of kids and they just don’t know it yet because they have never tried golf.”
Clark shared her enthusiasm.
“I’m excited to get a golf club in the hands of all my students and introduce them to a great lifetime activity,” he said. Photos courtesy Sedalia School District 200.