Pro Kids is an after school program started by African America caddie, Ernie Wright in 1994, in San Diego, America. He wanted to teach golf to disadvantaged youth, while also introducing them to tutors, scholarships and excursions to pro golf tournaments.

The golf course is adjacent to a Pro Kids educational center that offers tutoring. More than half of the 1,500 students enrolled at Pro Kids are immigrants or refugees.

Zubeyr Mohamed, whose parents hail from Somalia, is a great example of what the program can do. Zubeyr’s mom, Maha Hussein, says Pro Kids has transformed her son. Prior to joining 4 years ago he was overweight, bored and moody. Zubayr wasn’t stimulated after school and left to his own devices. She appreciates the program as it gave Zubayr structure, improved his academic results and improved his overall attitude to all things since.

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Keith Padgett, who runs Pro Kids believes the success behind the program lies in that golf incorporates many facets of learning that extend far beyond the sport. Kids are introduced to geometry and physics due to the arcs of the course, ethics as they’re meant to call their own penalties and discipline as the program demands dedication.

Zubayr may only be 12 years old but he’s a seasoned member and as such often gives advice to the younger players in the program. The program keeps the kids occupied 6 days a week, leaving no time for trouble making or idle minds. Zubayr believes he’s learned some life skills along the way, especially: “Patience and persistence.”

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Photo Credit: Kris Arciaga


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