Quantcast
_______________________________

Professional Golf Tournament Incorporates Free Youth Wellness Program

6/27/2018, noon | Updated on 6/27/2018, noon
The Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tournament returned to Chicago’s Harborside International Golf Center, 11001 S. Doty Ave., over the ...
The Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour returned to Chicago’s Harborside International Golf Center, 11001 S. Doty Ave., over the weekend to not only host a diverse professional golf tournament but also to provide free workshops for young people.

Professional Golf Tournament Incorporates Free Youth Wellness Program

By: Katherine Newman

The Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tournament returned to Chicago’s Harborside International Golf Center, 11001 S. Doty Ave., over the weekend to not only host a diverse professional golf tournament but also to provide free workshops for young people.

The APGA Tour is a non-profit organization that works to bring greater diversity to the world of competitive golfing and the organization accomplishes its mission by sponsoring professional golf tournaments, establishing player development programs, mentoring programs, and introducing inner-city youth to golf through their youth program that travels with the APGA Tour every year.

“We started the APGA Tour nine years ago as a way to prepare African American’s and other minorities for the PGA tour,” said Kenneth Bentley, president of the APGA. “About three or four years ago we decided to incorporate a youth component to our program. We got a grant from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to talk to kids about health and wellness, we also wanted to talk to kids about careers, and then finally we wanted to introduce them to the game of golf.”

The youth program is separated into three phase and the young people are split into three groups that rotate through each phase of learning.

Phase one is a discussion on health and wellness that is presented by the AHF, phase two is a career discussion, and phase three is a golf clinic led by the APGA Tour professionals.

“We have a tendency to just tell kids they have to stay in school and get an education but we don’t often have those discussions about health and wellness and careers so that's where we fill a void and we want to grow this program because I think it’s really crucial for young people and their development,” said Bentley.

When representatives from the AHF talk with young people about their health they include good nutrition, exercise, and sexual health.

“When we talked to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation about joining us in this effort to talk to kids, we really wanted them to talk to kids about sexual health. One of the amazing things to me has been that these kids have so many questions about it,” said Bentley.

The final component of the youth program is an essay contest. Young people are asked to answer, in 500 words or less, why it is important to make positive choices in their health, wellness, and career.

“We ask young people why it is important to make better choices in regards to their health, wellness, and careers and the essays really give great insight into why kids think is important,” said Bentley. “I do think that the messages and the discussions are important because we provide a safe place for kids to have these discussions.”

The APGA Tour will return to Chicago again next year and hopefully for many years to come, according to Bentley.