Junior Golf Day at Home Run at the JM Eagle LA Championship

Junior Golf Day at Home Run at the JM Eagle LA Championship

By Jill Painter Lopez 


LOS ANGELES – There was an abundance of jokes, laughs, intriguing questions and ooooh and ahhhhs at the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro on Saturday. 


All the fun happened at the driving range for Junior Golf Day, where dozens of children of all ages learned from professionals and other talented women in golf. LPGA players Maria Fassi and Emily Talley showed off their skills at the range, hitting stingers, flop shots and drives. Joining them was actress Kathryn Newton and golf influencer Karol Priscilla. 


Junior golfers had a chance to ask questions, too. 


What do you call a pig that does karate, 9-year-old Ava asked them? Pork chop, yelled one of the kids. He’d heard that joke before!


There were about 1,000 kids from different organizations that were treated to all sorts of activities Saturday, but the clinic was a highlight. Some of the organizations included: SCGA juniors, 61 Golf, DEA Educational Foundation, LA Golf Club, the Watts Labor Community Action Committee, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach and more. 


Fassi did a contest to see if children could guess how far her drive was, and she told them to narrow their guesses between 260-280 yards. Then she crushed it. One child guessed 2,000 yards, which was a bit off, but the confidence in Fassi’s driver was duly noted. She impressed even herself as she hit it 288 yards, and she signed a golf ball for the lucky winner who got it on the number. 


One question that continued to be asked of the professionals was how they deal with nerves and butterflies, whether it’s on the first tee or at a big tournament. 


“Feeling butterflies, it’s a beautiful thing the sport has,” Fassi said. “It means you care about it, so that’s why nerves come up. That’s why the pre-shot routine has to be so solid. It helps to take away a lot of the noise.” 


Talley was asked about her earliest memory in golf, and for her it was easy, playing golf with her dad at their home course in Kentucky. And the follow up question was her greatest inspiration, and that was her mom. No doubt. 


Fassi and Talley both missed the cut at Wilshire Country Club but they returned to share their time, tips and insights. A wonderful teaching lesson for the juniors. 


Walter Wang, the CEO and Chairman of JM Eagle, made the fun-filled day for kids possible and had an inspirational chat with them. He told them to look at their neighbor and tell them they were beautiful. The children obliged and conversations started. 


Wang talked about how no golfer or swing is perfect and encouraged the kids to stay motivated and inspired. 


“Never give up your dreams,” Wang said. 


Newton talked about her love of golf and hit a few shots and took a few bows. Her roles in “Ant-man” and “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” were hits with the children. Even Priscilla talked about having Pokémon cards, too.  


Priscilla isn’t a professional golfer, but she has a big golf platform and following as well as has a lot of fun  breaking barriers and playing the sport.  


Priscilla, Newton, Fassi and Talley all talked about their friendships through golf and how the sport has added to their lives and always will. Priscilla remembered meeting Newton through golf, proving the golf community is one that’s so welcoming. Newton made dinner plans with an LPGA player she knew. The love was everywhere. 


Former Rams running back Robert Delpino, who also plays golf, concluded the day with some tips and a few renditions of “Rams House!”


Everyone stayed after for conversations, autographs and photos. 


Newton was delivering the same message to all the kids: “You’re a good golfer.” The kind of positivity everyone should take on the golf course. 


It was a great day for the children, most who have played golf before, and a few never picked up a club. 


There were lessons for all. 

April 27, 2024
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