‘Growing Golf’ event a success in inaugural year


Instructor Greg Thornton with campers at the putting station.

A group photo of the 2015 ‘Growing Golf’ event.

Noel Turlington completed his Eagle Project as part of Troop 80’s Boy Scout Troop on Friday, June 12th. In partnership with the Sampson Arts Council Celebrity Golf Tournament, Noel put on a Growing Golf event. The event was held at Coharie Country Club.

The purpose of the Arts Council tourney is to provide unprivileged kids with a chance to go to art camp. Growing Golf did the same thing, but golf-wise, for 28 kids who had no golf experience.

“I wanted to give back to the community in a way like the Arts Council does,” said Turlington. “I love the game of golf and think it is important for it to be taught at a young age. This event is for those who have no prior experience in the game of golf.”

On Friday, Noel had four different stations set up for the campers. One was a Rules of Golf station, where the USGA’s Bob Yow and Spell Carr each taught the campers the rules of the game.

Next, there was a putting station on the putting green at Coharie CC. At the putting station, Mark Harrell and Greg Thornton taught the kids about the fundamentals of putting and the importance of it.

On the driving range, there was a full-swing station, where the golfers learned full shots with irons and woods. Here, Whit Tart, Festus Turlington, and Eli Turlington helped instruct.

Lastly, the fourth station was an art station. Since the partnership with Arts Council was such an integral part of Growing Golf, Noel felt it was important to mix the two, and allowed the campers to decorate golf balls.

All in all, the event was a great success and Turlington was pleased.

“I have worked hard over the past few years and definitely have over the past two weeks just trying to make sure everything was in place and right. I have to thank the volunteers that helped because without them, none of this would be possible. I also have to thank the Arts Council and their staff for being on board with me since day one. Golf is a game that I have been playing since I was seven, and I think it is important to get these kids started at a young age, because the goal is to grow the game, and they are the future of it in this area.”

Turlington said that he hopes to continue this throughout his high-school career.

“Our goal is for each year, this to get bigger and bigger. I am very pleased with what happened this year at the event, and I can’t thank everyone enough for all of the support. Seeing the kids’ faces and what a great time they were having, though, just made all of the hard work completely worth it.”

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