Anna Maria Elementary begins golf/PE program

Cathy Schmidt, an LPGA Class A pro, has started a program that incorporates golf in the physical education curriculum in area elementary schools.

In conjunction with the Florida Golf Counsel, the program started Wednesday at Anna Maria Elementary.

Schmidt took the initiative to get golf into the Manatee County schools through its PE curriculum.

“I knew the funds were available to me as an LPGA Class "A" through The Florida Junior Golf Counsel (FJGC),".said Schmidt.

The PTO contributed $500 and FJGA gave $3,000. The grant was dedicated to equipment only.

Those funds purchased enough equipment for the entire school.

The program uses a special ball from Birdieball. It is golf ball like sphere that will hook and slice as well as go straight. Maximum flight is 40 yards so any ball field can be an 18-hole golf course.

The ball is hit from a mat so the turf is not damaged from the divot. Birdieball also donated over $500 in products.

US Kids golf clubs (right and left-handed) are enough clubs to supply the entire school. Paul of Paul's Auto has found junior sets of clubs and donated them for this program.

Mellisa Schwab Grants acquired the grant from the Manatee County School Board.

Schmidt had 17 PE coaches last year at Johnson Middle School during a day of learning golf for this program.

There are four more available grants open to Manatee schools for this year.

"This is my 'pay it forward' to a sport that has given to me so much," said Schmidt.

 "My desire is for every child in Manatee County School District and beyond to have the fun that golf produces and learn the positive character traits that golf encompasses: honesty, integrity and self esteem."

The revenue derived from the "golf license plate" is used to assist organizations in the State of Florida that offer instruction and playing opportunities in conjunction with education in golf's core values of integrity, honesty, personal responsibility and sportsmanship. Funds are also used in support of junior golf. Help support junior golfers in Manatee County by purchasing your golf license plate.


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