Involvement in a sport, particularly golf, can boost self-confidence, provide an opportunity for outdoor activity and enhance social skills. Golf also teaches life lessons, such as integrity, patience and strategy.
It’s something Danielle Maynard, a senior at Big Walnut High School, knows first hand … and something she wanted to share.
To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award — the most prestigious award a Girl Scout can earn — Maynard, a member of the BWHS varsity girls golf team, did just that. She initiated a summer program to introduce girls in sixth through ninth grades to the sport of golf — a sport she fell in love with the summer before her freshman year.
Up until she tried out for the varsity squad, Maynard said she didn’t know a ton of other girls interested in the sport.
“I wanted to change this,” she said. “I wanted to share my love of the game of golf with younger girls. I also wanted to give these young girls the opportunity that I didn’t have at their age to improve their game sooner.”
Maynard worked with local golf courses, NorthStar, Bent Tree, Royal American, Wyandot and Table Rock to schedule putting, chipping and driving range sessions. She also booked several nine-hole rounds throughout the summer.
Over 20 girls signed up for the summer sessions.
They focused on the basics — safety, grip, swing, terminology, rules, etc. Then, they practiced skills like putting, chipping, and the full swing. Many others volunteered to help during the sessions, including Big Walnut Middle School girls golf coach Tyler Beam, Golden Eagle coach Lloyd Huffer, several members of the Big Walnut varsity girls golf team and Maynard’s parents.
Maynard said she was encouraged by the girls’ interest and seven of the participants have since tried out and secured spots on the high school and middle school squads. Even more are interested in trying out in the future, she added.
She also plans to keep the program going.
To make sure this effort has a lasting effect, Maynard is working with Beam to continue introducing golf to girls attending the Big Walnut Intermediate and Middle Schools.
Danielle Maynard, a senior at Big Walnut High School, contributed to this report.