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Durham Program Gets Kids Golfing

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DURHAM — More kids are playing golf now than ever before, but it can be pretty expensive and not everyone can afford to play the sport.

In Durham, there is a program called PAR 3 Junior Golf. PAR 3 stands for Positive Attitude and Respect, and kids who participate are learning to succeed on and off the golf course.

Twice a week, the kids leave their homes in the city's housing projects and head for a place where the grass is a little greener.

"I like being outside and feeling the breeze," said one young golfer.

"I love it and hopefully I'll be the second Tiger Woods," said a young woman.

In the PAR 3 program, the young golfers learn the fundamentals of a game most of them have never even played before.

"When I first started I couldn't do nothing... I couldn't even hit," said Jamar Farrington.

These days, Farrington can do more than just hit, he sends the ball flying.

Right now, there are dozens of kids in the program; in fact, officers say they will not turn anyone away. All the kids have to do is keep up their grades.

"We (ask them), 'how's school going? what's going on in school?' Every now and then, they'll have to bring in their report cards and we'll have to check those," said Officer Darrell Brown.

The chance that any of these kids will go on to be professional golfers may be pretty slim, but the golf program opens the door for them, and more importantly, it gives them a chance to believe in themselves.

This is the fourth year for the program, which is a joint effort between the Durham Police Department, the Housing Authority, and Hillandale Golf Course. Thanks to a grant from the United States Golf Association, organizers were able to buy all the kids their own golf shirts, shoes and clubs.


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