Sometimes just giving a child the opportunity to try something new will draw them in forever.
That's the goal of the "Hook a Kid on Golf" program.
The Albany Parks and Recreation Department and Flint River Municipal Golf Course hosted the 15th annual "Hook a Kid" workshop this week.
The program gives kids who are picking up the game for the first time a set of clubs and a week's worth of lessons.
They also learn about proper golf etiquette and are given a rulebook.
On Thursday, the kids hit the driving range to show off to family what they've learned.
There was a consensus on the favorite lesson and drill.
"Using the driver so you can hit it past the 50 [yard marker]!" exclaims eight year old Vaughn Belcner.
"The driver," says 11 year old Jordan Elder. "Because it's big and you can hit it really far!"
But the program is not all about golf.
Law enforcement agents gave presentations about the dangers of gangs and drugs.
"If they're out playing golf, they don't have time to be out thinking about drugs or gangs," says Flint River course manager and program instructor Roy Snead. "It keeps their mind focused on something positive, keep their minds focused on the right things at all times."
But the kids also get a chance to have fun, and possibly pick up a hobby that can last a lifetime.
"They socialize. They meet new friends," Snead says. "And who knows? They may go pro."
The participants are also able to play a free round of golf at the Flint River course Friday with their parents.
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