For the past month, more than 40 Junior Girl Scouts have been learning the great game of golf through our community partnership with LPGA/USGA Girls Golf.

Coach Liz Smart has been working with Girl Scouts for the past 10 summers at Overland Park Golf Course and loves seeing young girls out the time into learning this sport.

“The best thing is getting the girls out in a group, where they feel comfortable and they’re with friends and they can learn golf. It’s not an intimidating environment and it’s more fun for them.”

This was Suzanne Sade’s second year in our program and she has acquired some impressive skills!

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She has always been intrigued by the game of golf – her Dad, Doc is an avid golfer. “She was asking where I was going all the time with those bags, and then she asked if she could come,” Doc said.

It only progressed from there.

Doc took Suzanne and her sister out and they started off learning how to putt. Next thing you know, Suzanne was asking to hit with drivers! Her first clubs were a little Tiger Wood set and she used those and proved that she could play the game. Since then Suzanne has played in several tournaments including US kid’s golf tournaments and has been upgrading her clubs along the way. In fact, she received a “real driver” on Tuesday!

Like Suzanne, many of the girls in the program were turned onto the game of Golf by a male role model in their lives.

Ella Oldham has been listening to her grandpa talk about golf and decided to see what the sport was all about. Now that she’s had 2 years of lessons, she hopes to get her grandfather out on the course and have a little friendly competition with him! She says that her putting skills have dramatically improved and that’s what she’s best at; however, her favorite part of golf is driving!  “I don’t like hitting it really soft, I like hitting it hard,” Ella said!

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For Mikayla Bernanti, it was her mom who inspired her and her sister to take up golf. Their parents are both golfers but her dad will willingly admit that Mikayla’s mom was more into golf than he was when they first met; in fact she bought him his first set of clubs!

Golf is a sport that Mr. and Mrs. Bernanti want their daughters to learn because it teaches life skills.

“Mikayla is very, very, competitive. We’re trying to teach her that she’s competing against herself. It’s a life sport,” Mike said.

The girls’ skills have progressed over the past three years and they golfed for the first time as a family on Father’s Day weekend, taking advantage of the free green fee that day!

“When I get old and my wife gets old we want to have something to do and hopefully they’ll come out and golf with us!”

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We had a great time watching these Girl Scouts put all the skills they learned this past month to use at their Par 3 Scramble game! The best part might have been seeing the parents and caregivers caddy for them then watching their expressions when they saw it all come together for their Girl Scouts!

“I hope that they’ll be future golfers! We want to teach our young girls now to be future golfers so this game of skill grows to include even more women,” Coach Liz said.

Watch what you wish for, Liz! These girls just might give you a run for your money in the future!!

DSC_0319We have 100+ Community Partners that provide all sorts of programming to our Girl Scouts from sports, to STEM, the arts and everything in between. Find a new experience for your Girl Scout today and see where it takes her!


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