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Owen Burke of East Hollywood always looks forward to his Father’s Day tradition when he and his three daughters – Lucy, 15, Hazel, 12, and Rose, 9 – hit the links at a local course, often in Griffith Park.
While the girls may argue with each other at home, they know, through lessons learned at Griffith Park’s Tregnan Golf Academy, how to behave when playing on a public course. “They learned so much at Tregnan,” says Burke. “Golf teaches you about life, how to treat yourself and others. How to be thoughtful, patient and considerate.”
Over the past decade, Burke has enrolled his daughters in the long-running golf programs at Tregnan. The inexpensive cost of the program – as affordable as $10.50 a class – made it possible, says Burke. “Plus, it’s such a special place to learn. The instructors are top-notch, and its three-hole course is so wonderful. It's a little oasis up there.”
Indeed, Morgan Haight, the Director of Instruction at the Academy, enjoys his daily commute to the grounds with a 200-yard driving range, a practice course, putting green, chipping area and a facilities building that once was part of the public Calvin Coolidge golf course.
Established 22 years ago, the academy offers classes for kids 5-17 years old, and sessions for women and seniors. Haight says the program philosophy is to demonstrate how kids can bring responsibility, patience and focus into their lives. “Learning golf is the icing on the cake,” he explains. He’s had kids enroll from just down the street to as far away as Santa Clarita.
In addition to instructing golfers of all ages, Haight and his ten coaches – some on staff for 14 years – often contend with local wildlife. There's a pack of coyotes that visit every early morning. Often deer can be seen wandering the grounds.
Haight recalls the thrilling moment when, one morning doing his rounds, he discovered fresh mountain lion paw prints in a muddy patch. “Yep, we can say that P-22 paid us a visit,” he says. “There really is never a dull moment in this beautiful place.”
This story appeared in the Good Reads Edition of our Sunday Digest newsletter. Sign up for the Sunday and Daily Digest (Monday-Friday) newsletter by clicking or tapping on the link below.
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