The Providence, R.I. non-profit, public facility has always been dedicated to providing a short course and teaching center focused on youth golf for children of all backgrounds and abilities. This year it is offering free lessons for local kids who belong to Boys and Girls Clubs, which is seen as an especially welcome program for encouraging outdoor activity during the confinement of the pandemic.
Button Hole Golf Course in Providence, R.I., a non-profit (501) (c) (3) public golf facility dedicated to providing a short course and teaching center focused on youth golf for children of all backgrounds and abilities, is expanding its mission this year by offering free lessons for local kids who belong to Boys and Girls Clubs, station WPRI 12 of Providence reported.
“Button Hole is great for allowing the kids this opportunity,” Lea Berard, an employee of the Pawtucket (R.I.) Boys and Girls Club, told WPRI. “To be able to be outside in the fresh air and enjoy a different atmosphere is absolutely awesome.”
For four weeks this summer, WPRI reported, Button Hole’s Executive Director, Donald Wright, and his staff will teach the kids the fundamentals of the game.
“We have the facilities, the resources and the affordable and accessible golf,” Wright said after the first sessions were held. “They were making great contact getting the ball in the air. They were getting the basic moves down. So I’m very optimistic.”
“We’ll show them chip shots and putts next week and then get them out on the course to experience the whole thing,” Wright added.
“Don is awesome and very patient with the kids,” Berard said. “He cares. He goes to everyone to teach them as best that he can.”
Most of the kids had never picked up a golf club prior to going to Button Hole, WPRI reported, but a few started to pick it up quickly.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be that hard,” said one participant, Paul Peralto.
“I was very proud of myself. I didn’t think I could do it after just two days,” Elias Battiston admitted. “It was crazy.”
All of the kids who participated got a new appreciation for the game and are slowly beginning to understand the bigger picture, WPRI reported.
“Like golf and like life, you need to try and try,” Peralto said.
“We love to have them come out here,” Wright said. “Hopefully they become lifelong golfers.”
Button Hole GC takes its name from a site along the Woonasquatucket River that became a natural swimming hole and collected buttons discharged by a shoe factory upstream over 100 years ago. The course was founded in 2000 by Ed Mauro, a Rhode Island State Amateur champion and successful local businessman. Rhode Island natives and PGA Tour stars Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade are honorary co-chairs of the course’s Board of Directors.
WPRI’s full video report can be viewed at https://www.wpri.com/sports/local-golf-club-offers-free-lessons-for-youth/