By Jackie Paige

West Bloomfield, MI  (CBS Detroit) – For golfers, the sport is all about the course. The greens, the grass, the bunkers, the water hazards. But the golf course isn’t just about learning how to play, it also teaches us about the environment.  That’s what 32 students from Lake Orion learned when they took a First Green field trip to Pine Lake Country Club. The 5th Graders rotated through individual learning stations on soil, water, area measurement, and even a putting contest.

“First Green is an organization that has partnered up with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America,” explains Terry Poley, Golf Course Superintendent at Pine Lake Country Club. “It’s an opportunity to teach STEM training to younger kids and school kids.”

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“A lot of these kids it’s the first time they’ve ever been on a golf course,” says Shelia Finney, Senior Director of Member Programs at GCSAA. “Just watching these kids suddenly get aware of what a golf course is, and the fact that it’s outside in the environment…they just have a fantastic time when they come.”

“We’re a family-focused club, and the board and the members are really excited working with the kids,” explains Gregory Colombo, General Manager Pine Lake Country Club. “They really wanted to be a part of something to help the kids learn about the math and science that goes into the playing surface, beyond just the game of golf. You see the players on TV doing what they do, but you also want to see what goes into the playing surface where Tiger Woods and Phil Michelson play the game every week.”

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“Maybe the takeaway here is we pick up a couple of young golfers that are interested in the sport,” adds Poley. “Maybe in a few years, I pick up some young people who are interested in coming to work at Pine Lake Country Club or another golf course in the area.  And then long term, maybe we pick up a couple of members.”

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