Transforming Lives: Meadow Park Golf Course's After-School Program

In an era where digital distractions often vie for attention, Meadow Park Golf Course stands out as a beacon of opportunity for Tacoma’s youth. Through a dynamic partnership with First Tee – South Puget Sound, Tacoma School District, and Metro Parks Tacoma, the after-school program at Meadow Park not only introduces golf to a new generation but also cultivates essential life skills and fosters a sense of community.

“After-school programs are crucial for providing kids with enriching experiences beyond the classroom,” says Mitch Girard, Meadow Park’s PGA head professional. “Our program goes beyond golf; it’s about empowering kids to succeed both on and off the course.”

A notable aspect of the program is its vibrant golf bus, which transports kids from their local Tacoma schools to the golf course. Adorned with lively designs and equipped with all necessary gear, the bus serves as a mobile clubhouse, creating an inviting atmosphere from the moment participants step aboard.

Sheryl Blessing, Youth Development Supervisor at Club B, says, “The golf bus symbolizes inclusivity and opportunity. By bringing kids from their own schools to Meadow Park, we’re breaking down barriers and making the sport accessible to everyone.”

Partnerships between the Tacoma School District and Metro Parks Tacoma ensure the program reaches a diverse range of students and seamlessly integrates golf into existing after-school activities. Combining golf instruction with life skills education, the program provides a holistic experience that prepares participants for success in various aspects of their lives.

Ben Talbot, program director of First Tee – South Puget Sound, says, “Our aim is for participants to experience personal development through our core values while learning the game of golf.”

Meadow Park Golf Course offers an ideal setting for this transformative journey. Kids can play, learn, and grow in a supportive environment. With quality and compassionate coaching, participants are encouraged to develop their skills at their own pace while forging meaningful connections with peers.

“My coaches are some of the nicest coaches from any sport I’ve played,” says Brody, a 7th grade student. “They’ve made me truly love a sport.”

Beyond the greens, the program fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie, fostering lasting friendships and mentorship opportunities that extend beyond its duration.

“We’re not a golfing family,” says Brody’s father Christopher. “But Brody’s newfound interest has brought us together. It’s inspiring to see him gain confidence through golf, so we’ve been pursuing it as a family.”

By providing a nurturing environment where kids can play, learn, and grow, Meadow Park Golf Course’s after-school program is shaping the next generation of golfers and empowering future leaders with the skills and confidence to succeed in any endeavor they choose.