CLUBS FOR KIDS Underprivileged kids learning game of golf
Former PGA pro John Hamarik is in his third year with the program.
By JOHN KOVACH
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BOARDMAN -- Clubs for Kids, a program of golf clinics for underprivileged children from lower-income families organized by former PGA Tour Pro John Hamarik, is being held for the third straight year at the Master Golf Training Center.
"We try to put in 300 kids through the program each year, and so we might have six to seven programs [throughout the year], including some one-week programs," said Hamarik, who holds the clinics is the spring, summer and fall. "The most we have done was 175 [children] in one year."
Each program typically covers 10 days and 20 hours. The latest program involving some 30 youth got underway this week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and is scheduled for completion tentatively Aug. 23-27. Each daily session is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
"We'll do as many [clinics] as we can do," said Hamarik, who also is scheduling other clinics for this year. To apply, children or their parents may call Hamarik at Master Golf at 330-758-4373.
Kids get new golf clubs
Besides the golf clinic, each participating child will receive a free set of new golf clubs as a gift, and will get to play golf at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Columbiana.
Hamarik, a Cardinal Mooney High graduate, founded Clubs for Kids specifically to develop and implement golf clinics for economically-disadvantaged youths. He is assisted by Carolyn Bogan, director of development, and utilizes a paid staff of instructors.
Hamarik said Clubs for Kids is a not-for-profit organization, and is sponsored in the area by Denise DeBartolo, Tony Lariccia and family and Mahoning Valley Sports Charities, while the Morris Friedman Foundation also assisted last year.
Clubs for kids is accepting contributions. Checks should be made payable to Clubs for Kids and mailed to Clubs for Kids, 8302 Southern Blvd., Boardman 44512.
Clubs for Kids also recently was awarded a grant from the United States Golf Association Foundation (USGA).
Master Golf is located at 8302 Southern Blvd. near Western Reserve Rd.