Kisharon golfers love their tee times

Teenagers from special needs charity are thriving in sporting collaboration with Dyrham Park


Golf is viewed by many as an elitist pursuit, accessible only to the well-off.

But Dyrham Park Country Club in Barnet is challenging the stereotype by offering basic golfing tuition to teenagers supported by special needs charity Kisharon.

The idea stemmed from club president Jeremy Curtis, a golfer for more than 50 years.

He offered Kisharon and a local school group tuition with Dyrham Park pro Matthew Blake as part of their physical education. The Kisharon pupils, aged 15 to 17, have been enjoying weekly lessons.

“This isn’t about raising money — it is about giving time and energy,” Mr Curtis said.

“Golf can have an elitist feel but this hopefully shows that anyone can do it.

“The first time I saw the kids from Kisharon learning I was overwhelmed.”

He added that since the start of the project in May, pupils had come on “leaps and bounds” in their golfing ability.

“They are embracing it and picking up real skills.

“By the time we have finished they will have some competence.”

The hope is that some will reach a level where they can take part in a mini-tournament with Dyrham Park members.

Kisharon pupil Micah, 15, had never played golf before the link-up with the club. “It is a really good sport,” he said.

“When I first came I was really bad but it was fine because I got better. When I hit the ball it feels really exciting.”

“It helps my muscles and gives me huge biceps. This place is really amazing.”

For Mr Blake, the tuition programme has also been a new and rewarding experience.

“I have never done anything like it before. Before we started I got a break down of each child and their difficulties.

“They wouldn’t look at me when we first started. Now they greet me and they listen to me.”

Kisharon teacher Adina Collins said the programme was ideal for pupils’ needs.

“Team sports are not that great because they struggle to work together but this is individual, so they can focus.

“They have to really work on their listening, their concentration skills, as well as hand-eye co-ordination.

“It also helps their communication skills because there is a lot of etiquette to golf — it is all about manners.”

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