SwingPals Uses Golf to Inspire Confidence in Inner City Youth

Golf strengthens not only the body, but the mind as well.

Working with students in four schools in the Durham, North Carolina, Public School System, SwingPals inspires over 1,000 kids a year by teaching them the basics of golf and all the incredible lessons they can learn from the game.

 “These kids face tremendous adversity, anxiety, fear and anger,” SwingPal’s Founder & Executive Director, Doug Hodges, PGA, stated. “Golf is such a wonderful game to be able to develop the mindfulness skills, the emotional regulation skills and self-awareness skills to be able to let go of those negative feelings.”

Kids can start working with SwingPals starting in 6th grade and through a mix of classroom, gym and course sessions they learn foundational skills to help them learn to create “safe spaces” in their practice, on the course and in their lives.

“We created a program that allows inner city kids to be able to build their play box, their safe space, and in that space, they can perform their best,” Coach Hodges shared. “To help kids who struggle with emotions, who struggle with anxiety, to be able to build that safe space around them using golf so they can stay aligned with the things that they’re passionate about and be able to pursue those things, whether that be higher education or a job or dance or whatever it is.”

Doug Hodges, PGA, Founder & Executive Director of SwingPals

And as their confidence grows on and off the shortgrass, they are empowered to pursue their passion and fulfill their potential to create positive change in their lives and their community.

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