180 Days - Learning to Play Golf

180 Days - Learning to Play Golf

While it’s cold outside, elementary students in Ottumwa are learning about a fair weather game in physical education classes.

Last year, Jay Davis, the golf pro at the Ottumwa Country Club, purchased equipment to teach Ottumwa’s elementary students how to play golf. He spends two days in each school giving instruction. Elementary PE teachers then keep the equipment for the remainder of the week and provide additional instruction.  Students learn about stance, hitting an iron, and putting.

The program is designed for students in grades 2-5, although younger students occasionally get in on the action, depending on the school’s PE class schedule. Last week, Davis was teaching students at Wilson Elementary.

With a strong focus on teaching life skills, Wilson PE teacher Ryan Morgan thinks the unit is good for his students. “Golf is a sport you can participate in your entire life,” Morgan said. His students were excited about the opportunity. “All they talked about was getting ready for PE.”

Davis wears a padded body suit on his second day of teaching. At the end of the period, students take aim at their tennis ball and try to hit him. It is a rare exception when one of the balls sticks to his suit. Other props to make the learning fun include using a hula hoop to keep their feet in position. The hoop also has red markers that help students learn to putt. “And the best part is Davis provides the equipment,” Morgan said.

Golf continues next week at Horace Mann.