For one day they get to be Tiger Woods, or Arnold Palmer

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted By Molly Reuter - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A traditional sign of Spring took place Saturday in Longview, with a golf tournament for kids with special challenges.  It was the 9th annual Learn To Golf Tournament at Alpine Golf Course, sponsored by Scottish Rite Hospital for children in Dallas.

"When they make contact with the golf ball, whether they make contact not, but that smile the attention that they get," said Club Pro Mike Williams.  Every year children suffering from various physical disorders are treated to golf lessons and a round on the kids course.

"It's just, it;s fun to get out there, and it's just you and the club," said golfer Anna Foriter, 10.  "You swing it and the ball flies."  Many have chronic arthritis, every step is excruciating.

"Every move they make, every day of their life hurts," said Williams.  For the kids, it's more than just a game.  For one day they get to be Tiger Woods, or Arnold Palmer and dream about much more.  Some like Fortier have benefited immensely through the program.

"I like just having fun at it and learning more cause you can always improve," said Fortier.

"It also shows them that they can be involved with a sport and have a connection that sometimes they don't have with some of the more traditional sports like baseball, basketball, or football," said event coordinator Dana Dempsey.   The annual event is made possible through a grant from the United States Golf Association.