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First Tee youth golf program expands to Y

Funding given in honor of Patsy Rendleman and Gerry Hurley

By Susan Shinn

For The Salisbury Post

Since her teens, Patsy Rendleman has been an enthusiastic golfer.

“Golf has been such a big part of my life,” says Rendleman, who’s now 88, and recently had surgery for a broken arm. “I can’t play now, but I just love the game.”

So much so, that Rendleman helped bring The First Tee program to the Salisbury Country Club. The program sponsors twice-yearly golf sessions for youngsters ages 7-18 who wouldn’t normally be exposed to the game. The 8-week sessions take place spring and fall.

“I researched it and I knew I couldn’t do it by myself,” Rendleman says.

So she asked her good friend Gerry Hurley to help, as well as her friends Greg and Missy Alcorn. All agreed.

The program was so successful that the Alcorns are bringing The First Tee program to the Hurley Y this summer as part of the Y’s summer camp program. With their generous donation, the Alcorns are honoring Rendleman and Hurley. Their ultimate hope is to expand the program to the county’s elementary schools.

The four attended a session Wednesday afternoon at the Hurley Y, and observed The First Tee interns train the Hurley summer camp staff. The program includes indoor games and activities designed to teach the fundamentals of golf.

Richard Reinholz, the Hurley Y’s executive director, said he appreciates how the two organization’s goals are aligned.

Participants learn skills to become lifelong leaders, how to persevere, how to be polite, Reinholz says. “This works hand in hand with what we are doing at the Y.”

The golf lessons will be part of the summer camp program, which also includes field trips, swim lessons and other activities.

“This is another component we can use for kids to have fun,” Reinholz says, “but the end game is to instill character development traits.”

“Golf is a great game,” says Mike Barber, The First Tee of the Triad’s CEO. “You’re self-refereed. It’s a game of honor, respect and integrity. Salisbury is part of an 11-county area and we have great partners here. The Salisbury Country Club has made a commitment to youth golf.”

“I’m delighted to be honored,” Hurley says. “I’ve played a lot of golf over the years. I got more out of it than anybody because I hit the ball more! I enjoyed it and I hope these kids love it.”

Missie Alcorn says that she and her husband became involved in the program “because of Patsy’s passion. We wanted to help support her and make this happen at the Y.”

Alcorn plays but his wife does not.

However, she says, “Our son Clark plays golf, so golf is certainly a part of our world.”

For more information about spring and fall classes at Salisbury Country Club, visit thefirstteetriad.org.

 

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

 

 

 

 

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