What do you do with a gifted set of golf clubs? For some, they will stuff them to collect dust in a neglected corner of the garage or coat closet. But for 10-year-old Emma DiPatri of Franklinville, a champion swimmer, that set of clubs her mother’s friend gave them opened new opportunities.
“My good friend gifted me a set of golf clubs which Emma now uses almost daily,” Lori DiPatri, Emma’s mother, explained. “…Emma told me that she was interested in golf one day. I called the club to find out about program for younger children and Brian explained to me that the club had a summer golf team. I registered Emma and her love of golf took off from there.”
That club is Scotland Run and Brian is Brian Perino, a PGA-certified professional who started the club’s Junior Golf Academy three years ago. The club offers PGA Junior League Golf for ages 8-13, as well as clinics and camps open to children ages 5-17.
“I wanted to start to get more juniors involved in the game,” BRIAN said. “The benefit of having them start young is they get those fundamentals earlier, and we teach them to learn the joys of golf.”
Perino and his staff create a fun and relaxed atmosphere for the students, who learn how to hold and swing a club and stand properly while playing games.
Emma said golf looked fun. She joined the junior league last year and will play again this season. She praised Brian and his staff for being very informative and always ready to answer any questions she or her teammates may have.
“People are my team are very nice and supportive. The coaches are a big help,” Emma said.
“The programs are amazing. Brian brings a fun aspect to it for kids,” Nicole Campanella of Williamstown said. Her daughter, Alyssa, 16, is a sophomore at Williamstown High School. “There are Hula hoops out on the course for the kids to chip in to. Stuff that you wouldn’t even association with golf. They make it fun for them. They brought the basic concept to the kids, while they weren’t even realizing they are learning.”
Alyssa, who plays on her school’s golf team, was one of the original members of Scotland Run’s PGA Junior League Golf. She plans on playing throughout her high school career and hopes to land a golf scholarship for college.
“Scotland Run’s Junior Golf Academy offers kids an opportunity to learn the game golf and develop their skills at a young age. I started playing golf when I was 12 and still enjoy the game today. I took advantage of a junior golf program which is the best way to learn the game,” Neil Hartman, Director of Rowan University’s Center for Sports Communication & Social Impact, said.
“Golf is one of the most demanding sports, requiring a lot of practice time, but I have seen young players commit themselves to the sport as a teenager and earn a big-time college scholarship. It can happen but you have to really enjoy playing and many times that begins at a young age at your local golf club,” Hartman added.
Learning the game has benefits that reach beyond school and scholarships.
“It’s an enjoyable game, a game they can play their entire lives,” Perino said. “People in their 20s and 30s, as they enter the workforce, need to know golf because their company has outings and they need to know the game. With some basic knowledge, they can do it for fun. It’s something the whole family can play together. It’s a good family activity.”
Nicole agrees. Alyssa and her father John play at Scotland Run together. Learning the game has also given Alyssa, a self-described “shy” girl, more confidence.
“Golf is a life skill, and so much more than just a sport. At Scotland Run, they teach you to look people in the eye, introduce yourself. They not only teach you the sport, but the whole etiquette of the sport. They are teaching them so many life skills,” Nicole said. “Everybody we talk to, we encourage them to play golf.
“I can’t praise the Scotland Run program enough.”
Registration for clinics and camps and the PGA Junior League Golf is open now. Information is available at scotlandrun.com/golf_events/2020/02/junior-golf-academy.
For more information, contact Perino at 856-863-3737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.