Women’s golf team shares sport with girls

Sisters and Huskie golfers Taylor (left) and Connie Ellett

Sisters and Huskie golfers Taylor (left) and Connie Ellett

The 10th annual Thinking Outside The Tee Box girls mentoring event was held Saturday, Sept. 14, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.

A Chicagoland female business professional was paired with a female junior golfer between the ages of  11 and 17 in a scramble and mentoring activity.

Before beginning the nine-hole scramble, groups visited various activity stations where they had a chance to meet their group members, stretch and practice putting, chipping and full swing.

Student-athletes from the NIU Women’s Golf Team led the activity stations and incorporated a different life/business skill with each golf skill, such as communication, preparation and vision.

The NIU student-athletes also participated in the scramble, which was an added bonus of extra mentorship and playing ability.

Taylor Ellett, a member of team, volunteered for the second consecutive year.

“It is so much fun because I really got to know the participants,” Ellett said. “This event has a very positive environment. It is also a relaxed environment to play in, compared to what I am used to. It is not about hitting every shot, but about having fun.”

Logos of Kids Golf Foundation Thinking Outside the Tee Box and Rich Harvest FarmsBefore the round, participants were given a book of questions to be discussed at each hole. The questions directly correlated to the morning life activity stations, and also provided an opportunity for the participants and business professionals to keep their conversations flowing throughout the round.

“Business professionals should be a part of this because everybody deserves to share their experiences with young people,” said Bobbie Cesarek, the former associate athletics director for compliance at NIU who retired in 2010. “This event is an opportunity to share golf with young people while they are in the process of learning, and golf is a sport you can play for a lifetime.”

After the scramble, participants, family and friends, business professionals and site coordinators were treated to a luncheon.

They continued to network and unwind while hearing Kim Kester, head coach of NIU’s Women’s Golf Team, share how golf has been her outlet throughout her life and offer her advice to the participants. “Being on the other side of the game, I am not playing that much, but I am giving insight on things I have learned over the years. It is easier not to be great, but go to college, get a degree and become great. Find your outlet where you can be you.”

Participants and business professionals also were presented with a framed group photo to commemorate their involvement in Thinking Outside The Tee Box and to remember their time spent at Rich Harvest Farms.

The participants, business professionals, spectators, volunteers and student-athletes truly made this a one of a kind mentoring opportunity. The benefits and rewarding experiences this provides to young girls are apparent to their family members.

“My daughter is quiet but a hard charger, and this event helps her to open up,” parent Darryl Franklin said. “Golf has helped us to bond as a father and a daughter.”

The 2014 boys mentoring event, Other Side Of The Green, will be held Saturday, May 10. The Kids Golf Foundation is always looking for individuals to participate as mentors and to positively impact the life of a child.

For more information, call (630) 466-0913 or email info@kidsgolffoundation.org.

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