JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
Members of the Joint Base San Antonio PGA Junior Golf League are preparing to use the valuable lessons of golf and life-skills they learned during the summer as their season is extended into the fall.
"The children really enjoyed the summer league, so a decision was made to continue it into the fall season," Troy Gann, head coach, said. "However, for the PGA and the Air Force, it will most likely remain a summer campaign. The fall league is happening this year to keep the kids interested."
The league is composed of one team from each JBSA location and two teams from the San Antonio area; the athletes range from 9-13 years of age and compete on golf courses both on and off base.
Gann said all of the children "genuinely wanted to participate and were interested."
"Talent is great and has a lot to do with success in golf, but hard work is the other half," he said. "It's an individual sport and the athlete is responsible for his or her own achievements."
On their way to a profitable season, the team overcame challenges and learned lessons other than the fundamentals of golf.
The heat of summer and inexperience were two obstacles these young golfers faced during the summer league, Gann said. However, it was a great teaching tool to get the team involved, and part of the purpose is to keep them playing golf because they are the future of the game.
Key skills the children learned included leadership, decision making, teamwork and better communication and social skills, Dan Livingston, JBSA-Randolph team coach, said.
In order to help their children progress and participate, the parents also took part in the summer season activities.
"The parents were tremendous," Livingston said. "There were parent volunteer coaches, parent scorekeepers and the overall parent support of this team has been phenomenal. That's why this group has been able to continue into the fall season with kids who haven't lost interest and has actually gained players."
Gann said the main purpose of the league is to have fun.
"We don't just want you coming out to be with your buddy, we want you to really have fun learning the game," he said. "Golf is a game with rules but a game you control yourself. This is a game of a lifetime."