Perry community schools to take a swing at golf
Perry Elementary and Middle Schools will have a new curriculum rolling out for the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
As part of a golf initiative to get the younger children involved with the sport, the Perry Community School District partnered with “Swings for Kids,” project.
The Iowa PGA Foundation has implemented the program, which introduces the game of golf with the direction of IOWA PGA professionals inside physical education classes.
Executive director of the Iowa PGA, Troy Christensen, started the pilot program back in 2014 where he introduced it to five schools.
“Our Iowa PGA members came together and had an idea to get more golfers involved in the game,” he said. “It was one of those programs that definitely fits in the school.”
Last year in Iowa approximately 15,000 kids went through the program, Christensen said.
“The goal is to have this in 60 school districts by 2017,” he said. “So this next year is going to be big. We are going to be rolling it out to a lot of schools this next year.”
Girls varsity coach Joel Happel was given credit for coming across this project and bringing the project to Perry.
“For me this is just talking to the girls, trying to get them to come out for golf for the first time,” he said.”They don’t really have an idea of what golf is about. This will be a fun game they played and can build from there. It takes a barrier away.”
Happel along with Perry’s athletic director Tom Lipovac spear headed the campaign. They wrote grants and picked up some outside funds, which allowed the school to not dig into its pocket.
According to Lipovac the school received donations from the Bock family foundation and the DK (Danny Keenan) foundation.
“We have a booster club donation and two private donations,” Lipovac said.
The first was from Perry graduate Steve Wilkening. The other was from former Perry athlete Mike Dunphy, who now works for Cleveland Golf.
“Golf fits in perfectly because of the life skills we teach,” Chistensen said. “Honesty, respect, integrity and it is a game they can play for their lifetime.”