Cassville pilots youth golf program

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Kyah Safford, right, prepares to launch a putt at the youth golf program recently started at Cassville Schools. Watching Safford and waiting for his turn is Garrett Ewing. Both are in the third grade at Cassville. Kyle Troutman

Group hopes to get students excited about sports

If you truly love something it is only natural that you strive to share your passion with those around you.

For Susie Jacobs, it was her love of golf and a chance meeting that planted a seed that just recently has started to blossom, and hopefully produce fruit.

Third-grade students and youth golf program sponsors pose for a photo at the Cassville School District's field house. Those pictured include, front row, from left: Cadence Lyons, Kyah Saffold, Sydney Williams, Samantha Sanders, Kaylynn Wilson and Emma Berndt. Middle row: Garrett Ewing, Emilio Perez, Matt Kunda, Nathanial Hang, Deigo Hernandez, Gabriel Hill, Eli Coolidge and Emily Griffin. Back row: Carol Skarp, co-chair of the Tri-State Women's Golf Championship Tournament; Becky Ryder, Secretary of the Tri-State Women's Golf Championship Tournament; Garrin Madison; Aracely Serrano; America Salas; Susie Perez; Karla Garcia; Susie Jacobs, co-chair of the Tri-State Women's Golf Championship Tournament; and Treslyn Pollreisz, physical education coach. Kyle Troutman

Jacobs is a self-admitted golf fanatic.

"I love the game," Jacobs said. " Any one can do it, big, small, short or tall. The game is just fun."

Jacobs said that the game teaches its players respect for others and rules, but also joked that it can teach you anger management skills.

Third-grader Matt Kunda sticks out his tongue as he masters his putting skills during at youth golf program recently started at Cassville Schools. Watching Kunda is Physical Education Coach Treslyn Pollreisz. Kyle Troutman

While taking lessons from PGA pro Rick Grayson in Springfield, Jacobs had a chance to see her mentor also teach an Inspire Junior Golf program.

"The program is meant for elementary- and middle school-aged children," Jacobs said. "I watched as the kids involved became excited and enthusiastic about the game of golf."

Jacobs is a member of the Cassville Ladies Golf Association and approached the fellow members with the idea of purchasing the Inspire Junior Golf program and having it introduced to the Cassville youth at school.

"Golf needs the youth to continue," Jacobs said. "Currently, students at Cassville aren't introduced to the game of golf until they are freshmen."

Jacobs and the fellow members of the association also agreed that if kids could begin playing football or baseball in the third grade, why not golf?

The group purchased the Inspire Junior Golf Program kit that includes teaching material, clubs, ball and other items essential to the course.

At the school, it became Treslyn

Pollreisz's responsibility to implement the program.

"Golf is such a wonderful sport," Pollreisz said. "It is something that you can play your entire life."

Not only can the game provide a lifetime of enjoyment, according to Pollreisz, it's the educational factor that also benefits students.

"From math, to reasoning and the angles, the educational aspects are endless," she said. "This sport is such a wonderful teaching aid."

The Cassville Country Club hosts 40 to 50 youth for a two-day golf clinic each summer. Jacobs hopes the Ladies Association can purchase another kit and expand the two-day event to a six-week to eight-week course.

"We want to get as many kids exposed to the game as possible," Jacobs said. "Ideally, we hope this has an impact on the high school level and eventually leads to the addition of a girls team."

For now, Jacobs and her fellow association members are hoping that their initial push turns into an avalanche of success.

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