Youth from the Fort Wayne area were treated to expert instruction from PGA Professionals and world-class junior golf on Wednesday at Sycamore Hills Golf Club during the second round of the 35th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour.
More than 200 local children from the YMCA, Lifetime Sports Academy and Boys Scouts of America received a free meal as they participated in a golf clinic conducted by Indiana Golf Hall of Famers Denny Hepler, PGA head professional at Raccoon Run Golf Course in Warsaw, Ind., and Bill Schumaker, PGA head professional at Crooked Lake Golf Course in Columbia City, Ind.
"This type of event makes me proud to be a PGA Member," said Schumaker, who was the 1984 PGA Professional National Champion and owns the National Championship record for most appearances (29) and rounds played (87). "It is always special to see youth interested in the game and that is what happened today."
The brainchild of Sycamore Hills Golf Club President Barry LaBov, the event created an opportunity for hundreds of children to receive a "Youth Spectator Championship Experience" during the 35th Junior PGA Championship.
"This is a great opportunity for some of our local youth to see a gorgeous golf course and some of the best young athletes in the world," said Lebov. "They are getting an opportunity to not only be outside enjoying a healthy activity but also learning how to conduct themselves in a professional manner."
Hepler and Schumaker advised the youth on how to conduct themselves as spectators at a major golf championship and reflected on the impact the game of golf has had on their lives.
The youngsters, who roamed the fairways while watching action from one on the biggest stages in junior golf, were also able to get autographs from many of golf's future stars.
"Many of these kids have never touched a golf club or watched a golf tournament in their entire lives," said Tim Frazier, PGA head professional at Sycamore Hills Golf Club. "This opportunity may propel them into a sport they can play and enjoy for the rest of their lives."
About the Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour
Begun in 1976, the Junior PGA Championship has traditionally produced unforgettable golf performances and brings together the best junior golfers from around the country to compete for the Jack Nicklaus Trophy in the boys' division and the Patty Berg Trophy in the girls' division.
About The PGA of America
Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.
By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion golf industry.
By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere.
The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.