GONZALES -- Colby Lomas, 11, listened as former Southern Lab School golf instructor Larry Horton talked about the keys to perfecting the putt.
Lomas was one of more than 40 G.W. Carver Primary School fifth-graders taking part in a morning-long golf clinic on April 25 hosted by Hope Youth Development.
“I played it (golf) before, but I’m not very good at it,” Lomas said, adding that he hopes to improve his game with the lessons he received at the Pelican Point Lakes Course.
Hope Youth Development Director Mark Peters said he’s hoping Lomas and the other students picked up more than “just a few golf tips.”
Peters and eight other volunteers talked to the students about golf and overcoming obstacles in life, he said.
“We talk to them about the hazards on the golf course... and correlate that to hazards in life,” he said.
Many of the students, Peters said, were stepping onto a golf course for the first time.
First-time golfer Jackie Torres, 10, said she was looking forward to learning a new sport.
“I think it’s going to be a lovely experience,” Torres said. “And I’m hoping to beat the boys.”
Carver teacher Brenda Turnbull said golf “can take them many places ... because it teaches them confidence, patience and so many things.”
This was the third year Peters hosted the field trip.
Peters is a weekly visitor to the school, Turnbull said. Peters and other volunteers talk to the students about sports and share life lessons on success, she said.
Turnbull said Peters brings to class each week male role models who can make a difference in the children’s lives.
“You (the volunteers) make such a difference in our lives,” Turnbull said as she thanked the volunteers.
Volunteer Corey Williams said he “enjoys seeing when the kids get it — get a message that we’re trying to teach.”
Willie Moses, another one of Hope Youth Development’s volunteers said he keeps going back to Carver to experience “the excitement of seeing kids learn.”
As one group practiced their putting another took turns hitting the ball on a driving range.
“We just want to give them an experience,” Peters said.
Donald Hambrick talked to the students about safety on the golf course. He warned them to always stay alert and “stay a club length away from other golfers.”
Richard Brown, who also volunteers with Peters’ organization, reminded the students to “always respect those in the front of you ... and never rush the players in front of you.”
Between the golf lessons, Brown and others talked about the importance of staying in school and studying hard.
“You can’t live here (in the subdivision) for free,” Hambrick said. “I’m almost sure you need an education to live here.
You are not too young to think about what you want to be as you mature,” Hambrick said, adding that the key to success is education.