Congaree Global Golf Initiative preparing kids for college

Congaree Global Golf Imitative preparing kids for college
Congaree Global Golf Imitative preparing kids for college
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 10:44 AM EDT
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JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Monday is the one-year anniversary of the final round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree, a one-off PGA Tour event played in Jasper County.

But while the ultra-exclusive club is out of the public eye this summer, it is still engaged in creating opportunities in golf through its college-prep program for deserving students from across the country who completed the program in the Lowcountry during the last two weeks.

“All these kids want to play on the PGA Tour just like I did. But the chances of playing the PGA Tour are slim and what we’re trying to get these kids to understand is getting an education in life is very important,” said Bruce Davidson, Director of Golf, The Friedkin Group.

The same game is being played at Congaree Golf Club this summer with different intent. And this time, it’s closer to the Ridgeland club’s real purpose.

“First and foremost, they’re learning how to get into college. And I think the most important thing they’re learning which colleges are best suite for their abilities with academics and athletics.”

Congaree received international attention by hosting a PGA Tour event last June.

Last week, they were back to shaping individual lives through their Congaree Global Golf Initiative, an invitation-only week-long camp for young players who would like to play in college but might not have the resources to get there.

Not until they are nominated, selected and introduced to what Congaree can give them.

“We have 2,200 college coaches on speed dial, so we know, our academic and athletic advisors will spend a lot of time with these kids making sure their grades are good enough, their ACT prep testing, letters, applications to college.”

“It felt like a dream come true to be able to work with some of their pros, work with the best of the best, that’s all you get out here,” said D.J. Belcher, CGGI Participant from Greer, S.C.

“It’s a worldwide outreach to try to capture kids who are underprivileged or well-deserving who are good at golf, have great grades and want to go to college.”

In five years, the Congaree Global Golf Initiative has placed 95 percent of its participants in colleges. That’s roughly 160 kids worldwide so far.

Another two dozen were invited to Ridgeland the last two weeks in the hopes of following the other Congaree kids - and to experience a course that met the expectations of PGA Tour pros last year.

“The course is beautiful, oh my gosh. The sites, the water, the holes, the tee boxes. Even the greens, so amazing.”

“These kids will play a championship course in championship conditions with green speeds approaching what they would play at the U.S. Open. So, it’s an experience for a lifetime.”

And one that can change a life.

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