Grayson College helps "First Tee" take swing

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DENISON, TX-Last February, we brought you the story of a Sherman golfer offering free golf lessons for underprivileged kids. When he was told he could no longer use a city park, he thought his project was over. But one local college is taking a swing at helping out.
Grayson College is now in the process of writing a grant proposal to allow the "First Tee" program to take place at their facilities and teach kids more than just the game of golf, but skills they'll need in the game of life.
"First Tee" instructor Walter Whitfield was overwhelmed at the community's support of his efforts to teach area kids golf.

"All the adults around the park which stand behind me in teaching the children. I've had parents to come who don't even play golf and say 'that was a great thing going on,'" he said.

We first told you about Whitfield last February when city officials told him he could no longer teach at Martin Luther King jr. Park. Just days after our story aired, Whitfield got a call from Grayson College.

"When you had the article about him working with the kids at the park, that got the ball rolling."

Grayson College golf course director, Mike Hurley, reached out to Whitfield and got the college to write a grant proposal with "First Tee."

"Walter's done a great job with the kids and we want to take it to the next step if we can. And provide a place for them to play and to practice where's it's safe, convenient and not worry about what the neighbors are saying," he said.

Hurley said if the grant is approved, part of the golf course will be set aside for the program.

"Establish a practice area over here with a couple of greens and a practice area for the kids to use. It's only for the kids of First Tee to use and start there, work them there. When they improve and get better, then we'll move them over to the big course," he said.

"Once they're set up, they're talking to me about getting transportation, picking them up in one place, delivering them to Grayson. Taking them from grayson and then delivering them back," said Whitfield.

The grant proposal is expected to be done by this summer.

"I think they're looking forward to it as much as I am because there's so many things First Tee can do to a child who is trying to make it," he said.

If you would like to sign up for "First Tee," you can register June 7th at the "Martin Luther King Memorial Park" in Sherman.

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