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JCC Launches Golf Program for People With Special Needs

Instruction led by golf pros at Lawrence Yacht and Country Club.

The press release is from the JCC of the Greater Five Towns. It has been edited by Patch.

The JCC of the Greater Five Towns and the Lawrence Yacht and Country Club have teamed up for a new golf program with a goal of promoting a sense of accomplishmment and boosting the self esteem of children and young adults with special needs.

The Play Golf Program was recently introduced by the JCC, with support from the Sports for Youth Initiative of UJA-Federation of New York and the golf pros and volunteers at the Lawrence Yacht and Country Club. The program allows children and young adults with physical, intellectual, sensory and developmental disabilities to learn the physical and social components of golf while also having fun.

“We are greatly appreciative of the pros and volunteers from the Lawrence Yacht and Country Club taking their time and lending their expertise to make this program such a huge success,” said David Weingarten of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns. “And judging from the smiles on the children’s faces, they too, were thankful.”

The program teed off on Sept. 23 at the Lawrence club's driving range and will continue with three more sessions spread on Sundays in October and eight more scheduled for the spring of 2013. 

Peter Procops, head PGA professional at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club, and Assistant Pro Jeff Calais led the group lesson teaching 10 young adults whose disabilities range from autism to Down Syndrome. The program included warm-up, swing instruction and hitting balls as well as putting instruction and a putting competition.

“Play Golf is an important program that builds self confidence and provides a wonderful social outlet for our teenaged special needs population,” said Rina Shkolnik, executive director of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns.

The Play Golf Program is among a number of specialized social and recreational programs designed for special needs children, teens and young adults sponsored by the JCC of the Greater Five Towns. Other participatory programs include the “Field of Dreams” soccer program and Camp Friendship, a summer day camp. The JCC has a broad range of educational, recreational and social enrichment services to help improve the quality of life of children, adolescents and adults with special needs. Support services for family members are also available. For more information about these programs and services, call Gayle Fremed, Director of the Special Needs Division at 516-569-6733, extension 211, or visit http://www.fivetownsjcc.org.

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