It has been said that golf is a "game of a lifetime." One can begin playing at an early age in life and still play the sport when in advanced in years.
Brett Bailey developed a love of golf at a very early age and with the aid of several friends established the Golf Benefit Fund an organization that helps area youth participate in sports programs and allows kids to have fun while learning a sport.
"The fund was started seven years ago as a way that a few of us could give back to the community and the youth," said Bailey. "We host an annual golf tournament at Windmill Ridge and use the money raised to help area youth organizations."
This year, in addition to the tournament, the Golf Benefit Fund will host a youth golf clinic at Monett's Field of Dreams Golf Range. The clinic will be held on May 12 and 19 and June 2.
"When Field of Dreams opened we felt that Monett had a place that was ideal to host a youth golf clinic," said Bailey. "I approached range owner Lance Mettlach with the idea, and he has been totally supportive."
The clinic will help introduce area youth, 14-and-under to the basic golf fundamentals of driving, chipping and putting.
"Golf is a great sport to teach youth about life skills," said Bailey. "The game is fun and yet challenging. Our main goal is to provide area youth an opportunity to learn a new game and have fun in the process."
The clinic will have two sessions each day. Youth age 5 to 7 will practice from 9 to 10 a.m. The session for youth age 8 to 10 will be from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Water and refreshments will be provided for the participants.
Members of Missouri Southern State University's golf team, coaching staff and local professionals will be in charge of instructing each session.
The Joplin Youth Golfing Association has loaned the Golf Benefit Fund its youth golf trailer that contains several sets of golf clubs for participants to use if they don't own clubs.
The clinic will conclude with a chipping, putting and driving competition on June 2 that will be open to the public.
The cost for the clinic is $15 for the 5 to 7 age division and $25 for the 8 to 14 division. Space is limited. Registration forms can be found at www.monett-times.com.
For more information, contact Field of Dreams Golf Range at 772-7210.