EFMP takes kids out on the greens
June 16, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Children in Fort Rucker’s Exceptional Family Member Program grabbed their putters and irons and hit the course at Silver Wings Golf Course June 14
The group of nine participants learned the basics and fundamentals of the game from two experts, David Unsicker, SWGC manager, and Ronnie Mobley, resident golf pro.
The pair taught the children how to stand, position themselves, line up a shot, and swing on the putting greens and the driving range.
“Golf is a sport that everybody can play,” Unsicker said. “You can do it when you’re a young child until you’re 99 years old. Even children who might not be successful at other sports, can be successful with this. It’s not an easy sport to learn, but once you’ve got it, it stays with you.”
Kelli Reynoldson, military spouse, brought her son, Alex, 7, who has cerebral palsy and autism, to the clinic because golf runs in the Family.
“His father is a golfer and I thought this might be something that they could do together when he has some off time,” she said. “It’s so exciting to see that EFMP is doing something like this for kids with special needs. It’s nice to have this kind of inclusion for the children and parents.”
Mobley said working with special needs children was a new and fun experience for him and one he hopes will happen again.
“These kids are so much like sponges: you show them once or twice and then they’re doing it on their own,” he said. “Golf is a lot like riding a bike or swimming, once you get it, it’s there for life.”
He added that golf also teaches fundamentals that can be applied to everyday life, too.
“It’s just the little things they learn like staying in line and waiting for your turn,” he said. “Those things are part of life. It’s all about proper etiquette and proper respect for other people.”
Marion Cornish, EFMP manager, said the idea for a golf clinic for special needs children came about after she met Unsicker at a training class and he mentioned having adaptive equipment for people with special needs.
“I called him after the class and he explained a little bit about golf clinics and what they had done in the past and it sounded like a great idea,” she said. “It all just took off from there and I hope we can make this clinic a regular event.”
Cornish said the event, while primarily for the children, was also a chance for the parents to meet and talk with one another.
“I’m trying to find activities to get Families involved and meet each other,” she said. “They have a lot of knowledge I don’t have. Sometimes it’s easier for them to talk to somebody that has a similar situation to their own. It also gives them a chance to have a little fun, too.”
For more information on EFMP and upcoming events, call 255-9227.