The 10th Annual Thinking Outside The Tee Box girls mentoring event was hosted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. A Chicagoland female business professional was paired with a female junior golfer between age 11-17 in a scramble and mentoring activity. Before beginning the 9-hole scramble, groups visited various activity stations where they had a chance to meet their group members, stretch, and practice putting, chipping, and full swing. Student-athletes from the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Women’s Golf Team led the activity stations and incorporated a different life/business skill with each golf skill, such as communication, preparation, and vision.
The NIU student-athletes also participated in the scramble; which was an added bonus of extra mentorship and playing ability. A member of NIU’s Women’s Golf Team, Taylor Ellet, talked about her experience volunteering for the second year in a row for Thinking Outside The Tee Box. “It is so much fun because I really got to know the participants. This event has a very positive environment. It is also a relaxed environment to play in, compared to what I am used to. It is not about hitting every shot, but about having fun.”
Before the round, participants were given a book of questions to be discussed at each hole. The questions directly correlated to the morning life activity stations, and also provided an opportunity for the participants and business professionals to keep their conversations flowing throughout the round. “Business professionals should be a part of this because everybody deserves to share their experiences with young people. This event is an opportunity to share golf with young people while they are in the process of learning, and golf is a sport you can play for a lifetime,” said Bobbie Cesarek, Business Professional.
After the scramble, participants, family and friends, business professionals, and Site Coordinators were treated to a luncheon. They continued to network and unwind while hearing Kim Kester, Head Coach of NIU’s Women’s Golf Team, share how golf has been her outlet throughout her life and offered her advice to the participants. “Being on the other side of the game, I am not playing that much, but I am giving insight on things I have learned over the years. It is easier not to be great, but go to college, get a degree, and become great. Find your outlet where you can be you.” Participants and business professionals were also presented with a framed group photo to commemorate their involvement in Thinking Outside The Tee Box and to remember their time spent at Rich Harvest Farms.
The participants, business professionals, spectators, volunteers, and student-athletes truly made this a one of a kind mentoring opportunity. The benefits and rewarding experiences this provides to young girls are apparent to their family members. “My daughter is quiet but a hard charger, and this event helps her to open up. Golf has helped us to bond as a father and a daughter,” said Darryl Franklin, Parent.
Our 2014 boys mentoring event, Other Side Of The Green, will be hosted on Saturday, May 10. The Kids Golf Foundation is always looking for individuals to participate as mentors and to positively impact the life of a child. If you, another business professional, or co-worker of yours would like to be involved with Other Side Of The Green, please visit the Kids Golf Foundation website at www.kidsgolffoundation.org for more information.