Whether you’re watching or playing golf, understanding the flow of the game allows newer participants to be fully engaged in the sport.
Ben Ackley from North Carolina started taking golf lessons at just 5 years old, even playing with a plastic golf set before then given to him by his Nana and Papa. Dad has taken Ben to the driving range to practice, and Mom is taking lessons from Ben’s TGA coach, just trying to keep up with him.
Ben’s mom shared, “It was always important to me that Ben was learning the fundamentals of the sport, but it was such an unexpected bonus to watch the bond form between Ben and his coaches. I love when Ben will be practicing, or we will be out playing, and he will recite something coach Rob or coach George have told him. He may not be realizing it in that moment, but they are teaching him so much more than golf.”
TGA of Wake County has provided a wonderful pathway for their students like Ben. He started with golf enrichment classes at a local elementary school, then advancing through the TGA levels obtaining Black Level. Ben continues to participate in junior clinics, golf leagues, camps, and this last year he qualified for their Tournament of Champions Tournament in October.
Ben’s drive for golf is also his fun, “I like going out and playing golf with the friends I meet there,” and his goal is to compete on the high school team, in college, and become a professional golfer.
Mrs. Ackley’s goal is to play golf with her son, “As much as I would love to be an amazing golfer myself, I will never be as good as Ben already is but being able to go out and play with him and spend time together is priceless to me.”
TGA chapters across the country help introduce our children to sports, providing safe, age appropriate, curriculum-based instruction to help them grow. Our Player Pathway levels are specifically designed to help parents and students track progress. Mrs. Ackley said it perfectly, “The levels were definitely helpful, and I also thought they did a great job of incorporating sportsmanship and golf etiquette into each lesson as well. The levels also motivated Ben which was really exciting to watch as a parent. It instilled a sense of pride in what he was doing, and he became more confident in himself both on and off the golf course.”