Tracie Long, 9, of Charleston shows off the autograph she got from golfer Mark Leishman on Tuesday at The Greenbrier Classic. Long took the trip with the Charleston Boys & Girls Club of America.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- For 6-year-old Charleston twins Hendrix and Marley Hudson, Tuesday at The Greenbrier Classic was something to brag about to Grandma, who has a framed picture of Tiger Woods hanging in her home."This is really cool even though it's hot outside," Hendrix said."I've never golfed before. I think it's fun," Marley said.For 9-year-old Tracie Long, it meant bringing home a cool souvenir."We got to have famous golfers sign our shirts," she said.The children made their first trip to The Greenbrier Tuesday with Charleston's Boys & Girls Club of America, where they participated in a youth clinic."It's a great opportunity and experience for them -- most of them have never been out here. It's like they're on vacation," said April Sigman, education coordinator of The Charleston Boys & Girls Club. "Everyone is very excited. They want a glimpse of Tiger Woods. That's all they talked about on the bus ride here."The Charleston Boys & Girls Club summer camp provides healthy, fun activities to more than 150 local children as part of a 10-week program, Sigman said.The club's main goal is to inspire young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, caring citizens, according to its website.
On Tuesday's trip, the children were able to learn what The First Tee is all about -- a youth leadership program offered in 4,800 elementary schools across the county that uses golf to teach life's lessons.The program is committed to teaching children at a young age values such as integrity, respect and honesty, Sigman said."We would love to make The First Tee a part of what we do and offer more kids the chance to experience it," she said. "Just being here today, I can tell you golf teaches them lots of patience -- and they need that."Long said the trip was just one of many reasons why she loves being a part of the club."We're always doing fun things and learning new things in a fun way," she said. "The people are really nice and always let us play."Reach Mackenzie Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5100.