49ºF

Golf clinic for deaf students at The Players

Instructor Rob Strano introduced game to dozens of students

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Once again this year, Rob Strano put on a great clinic for kids from the Florida School for Deaf and Blind.

"These kids are all great athletes. They just have never had anybody who can bring the game to them in their own language, which is sign language," Strano said.

Strano says that his goal is to get these kids introduced to the game, which many of them have never played. He says the focus isn't on hitting the perfect shot right now, but instead just having fun.

"There is plenty of time for the traditions and the rules of the game. When you are learning it, it's about having fun," he said.

For Strano, he says it's a little bit more challenging teaching deaf golfers, because he says some of the terminology that he would ordinarily use isn't the same as what he has to sign to the students.

"Things I would ordinarily say, ‘Don't swing so hard, swing smooth' those don't translate," Strano says.

"Smooth and hard are textures and easy is something that is not hard to do, so I have got to take things like rhythm and talk about to them about the speed of the swing and put it in their concept."

The golfers got a lesson on the Valley Course this morning, before heading over to the 17th hole challenge, the mini version of the famous island green. Strano told me that watching the smiles from the kids as they hit shots and made putts is one of the best feelings of the week for him.

"This group has got successful doctors, attorneys, and businessmen in it. But if we can have future golfers, maybe a future Players champion in it, that would be great."