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High School golfer pays it forward, launches Golf4AllKids

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Teenager Max Reyes isn’t laying up. Not in golf or in life.

A high school sophomore at Menlo Atherton in California, he’s a 5-handicap varsity team member who saw that some kids wanted to play golf at his school but couldn’t because of various barriers. A member of Youth on Course (YOC), the non-profit organization providing access to golf through $5-or-less rounds, Max tapped into the spirit of YOC by resolving to help his peers wanting to play but lacking the resources to do so.

Inspired to positive action, Max launched Golf4AllKids.com with a simple but profound motto: “Every kid who wants to play golf should be able to.” Enlisting his parents, golf coach and teammates to support the mission, Max has organized a fundraising tournament, is collecting golf clubs for distribution, and, along with his teammates, donating time to teach any student interested in learning the game.

Max and his altruistic action buck golf’s origin as an elitist sport, showcasing the sport’s diversity and inclusion initiatives while making the game more representative of America’s demographic composition — an admirable endeavor made even more impressive by the 15-year-old’s wise-beyond-his-years vision.

Introduced to the game by his father at age 8, Max founded Golf4AllKids after attending a school program that shed insight on the socio-economic diversity of his peers.

“My school has a bunch of kids from different socio-economic backgrounds, and we have something called ‘Challenge Day’ where the counselors encourage the kids to speak up about their life challenges, and we get to learn about other kids in our school,” says Max, who joined YOC two years ago and has played an estimated 50 rounds at seven courses through the program.

“We heard stories about kids struggling at home, having very different situations than I do,” he says. “Several of them were on the football, baseball and basketball teams, but none on our golf team. I wondered why. Then I thought about the costs, which caused me to think of how I could possibly help turn that around.”

Launched in February, Golf4AllKids is gaining traction, this despite Max battling pneumonia through March. The first fundraiser tournament will be held June 8 at the Golf Club at Moffett Field, and a few sets of clubs have been donated. Modest early steps, but promising seeds that are showing signs of growth by the day.

“The PGA Super Store manager in East Palo Alto has verbally agreed to help provide some clubs,” Max says. “The more clubs we can get, the more lessons we give, so we’re excited by their support.”

More help is coming from YOC, which has agreed to provide free memberships to people coming through Golf4AllKids who can’t afford them. Extending his experience to others is precisely the mission of YOC, which has expanded to 24 states/regions in the country and includes more than 30,000 members and 750+ courses where young golfers can play $5-or-less rounds.

“We love what Max is doing,” says Michael Lowe, YOC Director of Programs. “It takes work at the grass-roots level to grow, and Max is helping provide access to the game, which is what Youth on Course does first and foremost.”

Max hopes the access YOC presented to him can be passed on to others through Golf4AllKids.

“There’s so many good things golf gives – it’s a great escape, it’s outdoors, and it’s a team sport where friendships grow,” says Max, who hopes to play college golf and whose high school team has only lost one of its last 30 matches. “I want others to have the same chance to experience these things if they want to.”

When not going to school, playing golf, or working on Golf4AllKids, Max likes to spend time with his chocolate lab, Scout, and his family. His mother, Azita Martin, is rightfully proud, saying her son’s altruistic vision stems from a simple inspiration.

“He realized he can do something to make a difference in the world.”

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A University of Maryland graduate, Dan is a lifelong resident of the Mid-Atlantic, now residing in NoVa. Fan of all D.C. professional sports teams, Dan fell in love with golf through Lee Trevino's style and skill during his peak years. Dan was a newspaper journalist, editor of Golf Inc. magazine, then a PR professional specializing in golf people, places and things for 17 years, rising to Vice President in Billy Casper Golf's PR division. In 2018, Dan started his own company, Dan Shepherd Public Relations, LLC, catering to golf, travel, lifestyle, attractions of all types, and non-profits (www.operationsupportmilitarygolf.org).

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  1. Ryan B

    May 6, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    What a great cause!

    Be the change you want to see around you.

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Opinion & Analysis

Fantasy Preview: 2018 Wyndham Championship

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After one of the most exciting Sunday’s of the golfing year, attention now turns towards the race for the FedEx Cup playoffs, and the quest to attain a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup. For the former, this week’s Wyndham Championship is the final opportunity for players to work their way into the top-125 in the FedEx Cup standings and earn a spot in the opening event of the playoffs. Despite many of the world’s elite understandably taking this week off, there are some big names in action here in Greensboro, with Hideki Matsuyama, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson all setting their sights on winning at Sedgefield Country Club this week.

Sedgefield CC is a relatively short par-70 golf course. It measures just over 7,100 yards, and it’s a golf course that doesn’t particularly favour the longer hitters. The rough is playable in Greensboro this week, and like most years at the Wyndham Championship, expect players who have their wedge game dialled in to thrive here at this event.

Last year, Henrik Stenson put on a ball striking clinic, posting 22-under par to win the title by one stroke over Ollie Schniederjans.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Webb Simpson 12/1
  • Hideki Matsuyama 16/1
  • Henrik Stenson 18/1
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello 22/1
  • Brandt Snedeker 22/1
  • Shane Lowry 25/1
  • Billy Horschel 28/1

It’s been a bit of a disappointing year for Daniel Berger (35/1, DK Price $9,300), but the Floridian showed some very promising signs at last week’s PGA Championship. After opening his PGA Championship with a very poor round of 73, Berger then shined over the next three days. The American posted three consecutive rounds under par, two of which were 66 or better. It was enough to give Berger a T12 finish and plenty of momentum heading to Greensboro this week.

In St. Louis last week, Berger lead the field for Strokes Gained-Approaching the Green, gaining an impressive 8.5 strokes over the field. It was the second best performance with his irons in his career, and at Sedgefield, Berger is going to have hole after hole where he can attack pins with his precise iron game. The two-time winner on the PGA Tour has had a quiet year, but in a weakened field, with plenty of question marks surrounding those at the top of the market, he has a superb opportunity for win number three here in Greensboro.

A T31 finish at the PGA Championship last week means that Chris Kirk (80/1, DK Price $7,500) has now made the cut in his last ten events. From these ten events, four have resulted in top-25 finishes, and Kirk has been hitting the ball particularly well as of late. Over his previous 12 rounds, Kirk ranks fifth in the field this week for Strokes Gained-Approaching the Green, 10th in ball striking and eight in Strokes Gained-Total.

Kirk will cost you just $7,500 on DraftKings, and looking at some of the players that are more expensive this week, he appears to be a bargain. Kirk is three for three in cuts made at the Wyndham Championship in his last three visits, and the four-time PGA Tour champion looks in excellent shape to mount his best challenge yet in Greensboro. Over his last 12 rounds, Kirk leads this week’s field for proximity to the hole, and on a golf course where flushing short irons to close range is going to be key, the American looks to offer some of the best value around this week.

With 17 out of 19 made cuts this year, and arriving off the back of a T12 finish in his last outing, Rory Sabbatini (75/1, DK Price $7,100) looks undervalued once again on DraftKings this week. Over his previous 12 rounds, Sabbatini ranks 24th in Strokes Gained-Tee to Green and 10th in Strokes Gained-Total. What’s more, is that Sabbatini is coming to a golf course that he has played very well in the past. In his last two visits to Sedgefield CC, the American has finished in the top-10 twice, with his best result coming last year when he finished T4. Coming off a strong showing in Canada, and with his proficiency in making cuts and excellent course history, Sabbatini looks a great DraftKings option here this week.

Recommended Plays

  • Daniel Berger 35/1, DK Price $9,300
  • Chris Kirk 80/1, DK Price $7,500
  • Rory Sabbatini 75/1, DK Price $7,100
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The 19th Hole: Katie Kearney’s Insights from Inside the Ropes with Tiger Woods on Sunday

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“Tiger made the other players disappear!” Golf correspondent, Instagram star and St. Louis native Katie Kearney describes what it was like to be inside the ropes at Bellerive on this week’s edition of the 19th Hole with Michael Williams. Also featured are Golf Channel Contributor Ron Sirak, and Chris McGinley of V1 Golf.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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The Gear Dive: A roundtable with Mike Taylor and the Artisan Golf team

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Artisan Golf’s Mike Taylor, Dave Richey and John Hatfield speak on what it’s like being at the forefront of the “craftsman” movement, Tommy Fleetwood’s Irons, Tiger’s Nike wedges, and working with Patrick Reed. Get all the latest Gear Dive info @thegeardive_golfwrx on Instagram.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

  • 3:30 — How it all started
  • 12:15 — Checks and Balances
  • 15:20 — The Importance of a proper wedge shaft
  • 20:15 — Taylor on the high-toe trend in wedges
  • 24:00 — Patrick Reed
  • 27:00 — Artisan Putters and what makes the different
  • 34:30 — Dave Richey advice to young club makers
  • 38:00 — Tommy Fleetwood’s last set
  • 39:30 — Tigers TaylorMade Gear, “no comment”
  • 44:15 — Getting used to IG and Social Media
  • 52:00 — Mike Taylor on the power of knowledge
  • 53:30 — Mike Taylor on bounce
  • 57:40 — Tiger’s new wedge grind to cure his yips
  • 63:55 — Roundtable Favorite track
  • 64:20 — Roundtable Dream foursome
  • 66:10 — Roundtable If you had to buy a wedge/putter/irons
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