Rhode Island Course Provides Role Model for Golf

BUTTON HOLEDespite lower participation numbers across the board, there are still some success stories when it comes to introducing the game to kids. One such project is the Button Hole Short Course and Teaching Center which has proven to be one of the most successful initiatives in golf.

Located in Rhode Island, this former 26-acre gravel pit on the Providence-Johnston line was launched as part of the “For the Good of the Game” program sponsored by the U.S. Golf Association. When the course celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this summer, it could point to its most obvious successes.

Three of the best teenagers in the state these days –– Samantha Morrell, Juliet Vongphoumy and Jamison Randall –– are Button Hole products. They learned the game at the course and now are piling up high school, college, AJGA, USGA and Junior PGA honors. All have bright futures in the game.

“I think we’re still growing as a community resource,” said David Hanna, Button Hole’s executive director. “We’ve certainly turned the corner with the school systems and the community agencies. We’re still reaching out.”

For the people at Button Hole, having such successful representatives is merely a bonus. The goal behind the program extends far beyond producing champions.

“We teach life lessons,” Hanna said. “We provide an opportunity for youngsters to learn the core values that are part of golf.”

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