Junior golf clinic held for area hospital patients

DENISON, TX - Several area patients from the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital were teeing off Saturday at a local golf course.

The Learn to Golf clinic was taught by golf professionals specially trained to teach children with physical challenges.

In the game of golf they say you swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about

Saturday the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children held a golf clinic to help ease the mind of several area patients.

"Its to introduce our patients who have physical disabilities to the game of golf. So we go around the state and have 10 clinics in different locations. Today we're here in Denison and we have children who live in the area," said Dana Dempsey, Scottish Rite's director of therapeutic recreation.

The Learn to Golf program is designed for patients with challenging physical conditions.Texas Scottish Rite Hospital uses the game of golf not only for fun, but also as a therapeutic tool.

"We've had a couple of parents report that now they haven't had to have surgery now that they've been practicing golf and being involved in golf. So it has both a therapeutic value and then that for just the socialization and fun, feeling good and being able to do something well," said Dempsey.

The Learn to Golf clinic provides their patients with a starter set of clubs.
It also gives the junior golfers some scholarship money to connect them with a program and a local instructor.

"They're not going to be playing basketball, football, probably not baseball, things like that, tennis. That's not open to them. But golf, even though you have some physical limitations, you can still enjoy the game," said Mike Hurley, director of golf at the Grayson County golf course.

The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is one of the nation's leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, certain neurological disorders and learning disorders.

"The biggest thing is that they can be a kid out here and not worry about being in a hospital setting or seeing doctors and nurses. They're out here with us, they're hitting golf balls, they're putting and chipping and in a little bit here we're going to play a hole or two. That's just something they don't get a chance to do that often," said Hurley.