East Side lot transformed into golf clinic

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It is hard to think about hitting the golf course while the temperature still struggles to crack the freezing mark, but the leader of the Ebony Ladies Golf and Youth Foundation is fired up to start a new season.

The group plans to expand this summer and continue to use golf to help kids set and reach their goals, but with more space to do it.

The project is part of an effort with the Northwood Golf Academy on Youngstown’s East Side to expand and offer more practice area for kids interested in the game of golf.

Ebony Ladies and Youth Foundation Executive Director Brunilda Turner said children were able to practice putting and chipping last summer on the small East Side lot, which helped them when they went to a full golf course. With the expansion, a driving range and more practice area will be available to give kids a better feel for the game.

Golf pro David Boos said the planned putting green and tee boxes will not only give inner city kids a place to learn and practice the game of golf, but it is also within walking distance of the McGuffey Center, where other summer enrichment programs are taking place.

“For golf in this area, it is the greatest thing in the world,” said Boos.

A grant through the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation’s “Lots of Green” competition helped with the overall vision of project.

Partnerships with several other agencies and volunteers helped Turner revitalize the vacant lot for the little golfers.

“The houses had been gone for like 20 years. This was all woods,” said Turner.

The extra two acres acquired through the Mahoning County Land Bank will include a driving range, putting green and tee boxes. Construction should be complete by June.

In addition to the golf program, Spotlight Performing Arts has teamed up with the summer enrichment program to offer youth dance and acting classes.

“If the kids have something to do then they are not out there able to get into trouble, or able to get into the wrong crowds,” said Spotlight Performing Arts Studio Executive Director Sharhonda McQueen.

The McGuffey Center offers several summer programs for inner city children. For more information, call (330) 744-4377.

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