Rotary learns about Elks’ Junior Golf Program | News, Sports, Jobs

Submitted photo Members of the Elks Lodge 1135 John Ballantyne Golf Program addressed the Rotary Club of Elkins. From left to right are Robin Mams, director; and Ray Cost, Kenny George and Mary Snelson, board members.

Robin Mams, director of the Elks Lodge John Ballantyne Junior Golf Program at the Elks Golf Course, spoke to the Elkins Rotary Club on Monday. Joining her were Mary Snelson, who will be taking the reins in 2023, Volunteer Ray Cost and Rotarian Kenny George whose children participate in the program. The John Ballantyne Junior Golf Program was founded by Elk Joe Walker in 2014 in memory of Ballantyne.

Junior Golf is Affiliated with the First Tee of West Virginia but, unlike that organization, does not charge students for their lessons. The participants are taught the nine core values ​​of First Tee which are honesty, confidence, Integrity, responsibility, sportsmanship perseverance, respect, courtesy and judgment. The group has been very fortunate that many local individuals and businesses provide financial support so that all who wish to participate can do so. Last year, donations were received from the Snowshoe Foundation, Randolph County Commission, Elks Ladies Golf League, Woodford Oil Company, Tygarts Valley Lions Club, Kiwanis Club of Elkins, Reckart Logistics and Dr. Frank Mams. Many local individuals also made gifts to support the program.

Junior Golf is open to all students between the ages of 6 and 18. Each is given a new golf club and plastic golf balls for them to keep and use to practice between classes. They also receive a golf shirt with the program logo.

Danielle Ammaccapane, an LPGA player who has a summer home in Buckhannon, provides lessons to the students. They can also take Lessons from the golf pro at the Arnold Palmer Signature Course at Stonewall Resort and the Raven course at Snowshoe with Junior Golf picking-up the tab. Additionally, the program has been able to provide the student with a complete set of golf clubs and had the Tygarts Valley High School Graduate receive a golf scholarship from Fairmont State University. Two student participants are playing on the Calaway Tour for junior golf in West Virginia and a number of students will be participating in the National Drive, Chip and Putt contest for the opportunity to compete at the national competition at The Master Golf Tournament.

To find out more about the program, including the upcoming summer schedule of classes, please contact Mary Snelson at

Rotary is a global network of 1.4 million Neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in their communities, and in themselves. Visit to learn more about Rotary International or contact President Chris Lee at for more information about the Rotary Club of Elkins.

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