A sizable group of community supporters recently gathered at the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie’s Westside Club located at the Westside Church in Fort Pierce to witness the unveiling of the plans for a Chip-N-Putt Golf Learning and Practice Center. Donning hard hats and hoisting shovels, many in the crowd also participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking.

Brought about by a partnership between the First Tee of the Treasure Coast, The Community Foundation of Martin and St. Lucie Counties, Westside Church, and the Boys & Girls Club of St. Lucie, the purpose of the Chip-N-Putt reaches far beyond teaching Club members how to golf.

Andrew Hunt, Board President for the First Tee of the Treasure Coast, explained that the program focuses first on character and second on golf.  The nine core values at the heart of the program are honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment.

“On day one, the kids learn respect- for others, themselves, and their surroundings.”

Even learning the simple art of the ‘meet and greet’ cannot be underestimated when it comes to advancing through life.

Through golf, kids learn to set goals and visualize the direction of the ball. “We want them to take those lessons and visualize their futures,” Hunt added.

The program also espouses nine healthy habits covering the physical, social, and emotional aspects of development, promoting healthy, active lifestyles for the kids.   These newly learned behaviors carry through to school and home, and together with the nine core values, are the organization’s trademark.

An appreciative Will Armstead, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie, is delighted with the project.  “Partners who are like-minded can move mountains in a community when the end goal is the same!”

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