On Saturday, Acadiana golfers can get some help with their game, and give some help at the same time.
A clinic hosted by long-time PGA Tour caddie and Lafayette native Ted Scott, golf instructor and minister Daniel Kelly, and The Wetlands head PGA professional David Gary is scheduled for 3 p.m. that Saturday at The Wetlands’ driving range and practice area.
Funds raised from the clinic will go directly to assisting those in the Lake Charles and southwest Louisiana areas that were devastated by Hurricane Laura in early September.
"We wanted to help out hurricane victims, we wanted to raise money and also raise awareness," Scott said. "It's been a few weeks since the hurricane hit, and some people are maybe forgetting how much help is needed. So we decided to have this event to entertain people a little bit, teach them some golf, but most of all raise money to help people who really need it."
Scott is best known as caddie for two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson on the PGA Tour, and as one of the most popular figures in that professional golf circle. But he’s also a standout golfer himself, having played on mini-tour circuits before a weekend caddying stint at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open turned into a full-time profession.
"You've got some of the best instruction here, I think between the three of us we've probably got 100 years of instruction here, so you'll be in good hands, for sure," said Gary.
Kelly said he hopes people can learn the fundamentals of golf, but also "be part of a great charity event. A lot of times this kind of wisdom costs a lot of money, so $20 is a good price for this level of instruction."
"This is a great cause, we really feel for the folks over in Lake Charles and we want to do our share," Gary added.
"This event is about inspiring people. We want to raise money and awareness, but we also want to inspire others to get involved," Scott said. "Lake Charles can't recover quickly without other people going down and helping. I've been down there, and it's a nightmare. A hurricane will probably come to Lafayette, too, and they will come and help us. So we want to keep that spirit going in South Louisiana."
Before moving into golf, Scott was a world-champion foosball player, and emphasizes the hand-eye coordination he developed there in his golf game and in his educational clinics.
Kelly, a former collegiate player at Hinds Community College and Belhaven who has more than 30 career amateur wins across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, is the pastor of The Harvest Center Church in Lafayette where he operates a golf program aimed at inner-city youth. He has staged instructional and motivational clinics annually across the South.
Gary, one of Acadiana’s best-known golf instructors, has been head professional at The Wetlands since the Audubon Golf Trail-honored course opened in Lafayette in 2006. He has been a member of the PGA since 1992 and has been honored by the PGA’s Gulf States section for his teaching efforts in seminars and video instruction.
Fee for the clinic is $20, and any other contributions are welcome. Participants may call The Wetlands at (337) 291-7151 for information or to register. Players do not have to pre-register and may register as a walk-up, but Gary said pre-registration would help organizers better plan for the event.