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Good golf, better values taught at First Tee

by jmaloni
Fri, Jun 19th 2015 05:30 pm

NFCC clinic begins next week

The Niagara Frontier Country Club is teaming up with the Western New York Chapter of The First Tee to present a junior golf program this summer for youth ages 5-18. Over the course of seven consecutive Fridays (June 26 through Aug. 14), participants will receive instruction from PGA golf professionals Daniel Antonucci, Matt Clark and Frank Garcia, while also learning valuable life lessons.

"The First Tee is actually a national junior golf organization," Antonucci said. "They basically have nine core values that they like to teach the children through golf."

Those principles include honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.

"It's been a super-successful program," he added. "I kind of wanted to be the first one to have the program in Niagara County."

First Tee provided training to the NFCC golf pros and will supply materials for the summer program.

"Obviously we know how to teach golf to the children, but now we're going to use their methods - and including their life skills and their life lessons - so it's really upgrading our program to a much, much higher standard," Antonucci said.

"I'm really excited to have it," he added.

"A lot of their games are very interactive," Clark said. "It's not just us out hitting (and saying), 'All right, we're going to hit putts today for an hour.' There's a lot of games where you're throwing tennis balls and throwing footballs and Frisbees. It all kind of relates to golf, but it's a lot more fun than just standing around a putting green for an hour.

"We're trying to get the kids a little more excited about it."

The program is open to all area youth - regardless of whether a parent or guardian is a club member.

The advanced junior clinic takes place at 3 p.m. The program flier said it is offered for "older juniors who are at a competitive level with their golf game." Participants will receive one-on-one instruction and, therefore, must be approved by Antonucci.

Beginner junior camp, meanwhile, "will offer the junior player the basic fundamentals such as chipping, putting, iron, woods and wedge play. Also, we will discuss the rules of golf, score keeping, golf etiquette and other general topics that will familiarize the junior to country club golf."

The junior clinics begin at 4:15 and 5:30 p.m. Children will be divided up by age.

Each week has a different lesson plan. The youth "will get to learn about golf and the golf swing, and then take it out onto the golf course," Antonucci said.

To register for The First Tee junior golf program (by June 23), or for more information, call 716-745-3329, ext. 202, or email Clark at [email protected]. Niagara Frontier Country Club is located at 1058 Lake Road, Youngstown.

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