Golf club drive keeps youths on right course

THE director of a major US organisation which helps keep young people out of trouble will visit Limerick this week to see how a local golf club is working to keep boys and girls off the streets.

Joe Barrow, son of boxing legend Joe Louis, heads a golf movement in the US called The First Tee which helps keep young people on the straight and narrow through golf.

Rathbane municipal golf course, which opened in 1998, has been operating a successful summer camp aimed at the eight to 15 years age group.

Since the course started the young people's programme of activities, the club has dramatically reduced problems such as damage to the course and interference with golfers.

Mack Trading took over management of the course three years ago and John O'Sullivan, course manager, said they decided to take a proactive approach to encouraging young people, particularly from Southill to discovering golf.

The club has replicated The First Tee concept.

Mr O'Sullivan said: "It teaches these youngsters life skills through the medium of golf in a very subtle way. For instance in teaching them how to mark a score card it has the message of being honest."

Mr Barrow is coming to Ireland to initiate The First Tee programme at Druids Glen.

But he has asked to visit Rathbane to see the programme for young people.

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