Beaming ear to ear with a proud grin only a father could sport, First Tee Central Valley program manager Charlie Floyd of Riverbank addressed 10-year-old Oakdale golfer Shealyn Hanrahan with pointed questions as a crowd of youth gathered at the Escalon Golf Course on July 24.
“Who did you meet?”
“What was it like?”
“Did you have fun?”
Hanrahan took a deep breath and calmly answered the inquiries clearly and to the best of her knowledge. It was the second time in two days that the fluid-swinging youngster had thrived under pressure.
She shot a dazzling 47 on nine par-three holes the day prior to capture first place honors in her 10-and-under division at the Women’s Nine Hole Golf Association Corena Green Classic For Junior Girls at the North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks.
Her score bested all others in her division by at least five strokes, effectively cementing her name among the area’s top youth at the prestigious junior golf event.
“This is what makes it all worth it in the end,” coach Floyd said. “Their dedication and determination makes it happen, and it lets me know that I am doing the right things.”
Charlie’s daughter Courtney, son Casey, Riverbank volunteer Dan Richards and Oakdale volunteer Virginia Whitworth provide the vital instruction for the group, but focus on character enhancing values during the First Tee’s Wednesday and Saturday sessions.
Casey golfs for his father at Riverbank High while Courtney is an accomplished RHS grad and sports the prestige of being First Tee ‘Ace Certified’, a rare honor.
“To have my kids there as an example, teaching, showing other kids life skills and core values — it’ a big ego stroker,” Floyd said.
He’s not the only proud coach.
Whitworth spent a lot of time with the group and helped three First Tee golfers nab sponsorships to the Corena Green Classic from her Par-Tee Niners organization. It’s the same program that sponsored 22 total golfers from the surrounding area to participate in the Corena Green Junior Golf action.
And Shealyn didn’t hog all the success. Escalon golfer Erica Swanson was second in the 17-and-under division while Ripon’s Zoe Bremer (third in nine-and-under), Ceres’ Amelia Daoheung (fourth in 10-and-under), Turlock’s Elizabeth Sommerville (fourth in 16-and-under), Modesto’s Sarah Ramsdell (fourth in 12-and-under) and Turlock’s Taylor Beckwith (sixth in certificate) came up big.
Other Par-Tee Niners sponsored participants were Patty Duarte (Waterford), Rosalyn Rojas (Turlock), Collette Sommerville (Turlock), Jillian De la Motte (Modesto), Makayla Mauthe (Modesto), Caeley Cabelb (Modesto), Mary Lambert (Hughson), Lyndee Sutton (Turlock), Khianna Branson (Manteca), Charliez LaRue (Manteca), Samantha Fraze (Modesto) and Madisyn McMurray (Modesto).
Hanrahan, LaRue and Fraze were the three from First Tee Central Valley to make the trek.
“It was so exciting to watch, and it went great,” Whitworth said. “We invited them to play at (The Oakdale Golf and Country Club) several times, and they along with their parents, put in a lot of hard work.
“It was unbelievable to see it all pay off.”