McAllen Boy Scout teaches disabled young adults golf fundamentals

Local News

WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A group of young adults from Coastal Family Care gained a new skill over the last four weeks.

The group learned golf fundamentals under the leadership of Boy Scout Ben De La Garza from Troop 76 in McAllen.

De La Garza along with volunteers and coaches helped teach golf skills to the participants from Coastal Family Care who have disabilities such as autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

“We just really wanted to bring golf into their lives, we wanted to make it a daily activity that they can play as their life goes on,” said De La Garza.

De La Garza is working on his Eagle Scout Project by coordinating the training and hosting a golf tournament to showcase the participant’s new skills.

“A lot of them have really advanced in their golf swing, at first they were very shy at hitting golf balls, and now they’ve just been whacking it like crazy, it’s pretty fun, it’s pretty cool,” he said.

The collaboration with the clients of Coastal Family Care is one the participants and organizers were happy to have.

“He [Ben De La Garza] reached out to us and said ‘I would like to use your center as an opportunity to have the participants and your clients come out and play golf,'” said James-Garza-Gerow.

Since the project started, the participants were eager to get to practice and learn their new skills, according to Lyza Garza-Gerow.

“They’ll call me Saturday afternoon or Sunday early morning, hey mom what time or I don’t want to miss it I want to be sure that I’m there,” she said.

She said her clients are like family to her and she has seen them gain confidence through the lessons.

“It has given them a feeling of, ‘hey I can do this,'” said Lyza Garza-Gerow.

One participant, Felix Francisco “Frankie” Zavala, was joined by his guardian, Melissa Vela, at the tournament. She said Frankie was diagnosed with autism at four years old.

Vela said Frankie has enjoyed his time learning golf and would get excited to join his friends at practice.

“He was tense and now we’re starting to see him loosen up and we see a difference from not hitting it and missing the ball now to hitting it and getting length,” said Vela.

De La Garza said it was a great experience to see the growth of the participants and wants everyone to know that golf is for everyone.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Community Stories