Danny Gerhard, a member of the Flagler Palm Coast High School golf team, is off to a great start in life as well as golf, but his contributions continue to get better with each passing month.
A sophomore at FPC in the Pre International Baccalaureate Program, and a golf student under the wings of Mike Tsourklaris and Eric Gonzales, at Cypress, Gerhard has spread his wings even further.
He is a volunteer on Saturdays, at the First Tee of St. Johns County, and assists the coaches in introducing kids of all ages to the sport of golf.
Gerhard was recently asked to be one of two accomplished First Tee participants to give a speech at the Ambassador Night Gala, at Ponte Vedra Golf and Country Club to a room of about 100 people who are board members and ambassadors. Pro golfer Mark McCumber was a keynote speaker. The purpose of the event was to raise funds for The First Tee Organization.
His speech was what The First Tee has meant to him and some of the opportunities he has had since being associated with that golf group for the young.
Gerhard is just one reason why I plead with the young to take up the game of golf — both girls and boys — and do it as quickly as they can.
It is a game you can play for the rest of a long life, and the only game I know in sports of that direction. More importantly, it provides an opportunity for the young and not-so-young to do things helping others in and out of golf.
For example, take Willard Anderson and Harry Davis, of Palm Coast. This pair is noted on the golf course for their ability in the sport. Little known, however, and rarely revealed is that both give their time and knowledge to help school youngsters who may be struggling with math, history or other school studies.
Same for Rick McArdle, of Grand Haven, with ability to match Davis or anyone else in Palm Coast golf stroke for stroke. McArdle, the father-in-law of PGA Tour hopeful Ty Capps, is proud as can be with the opportunity of teaching this game to Matanzas Lady Pirates Golf for coach Louise Wolf.
So, you see, golf is more than just a game. It is the way for golfers to do good and helpful things in so many other phases of life. And the McArdles, the Andersons and the Davis’ are just some of the many who give their time willingly so that the young may have better opportunities in life.
For more of Jock MacKenzie's golf column, click here.