Young golfers receive recognition

Photo by Timothy Ramsey Vic Johnson, left, shakes hands with Sam Puryear as they present the Sam Puryear Award to Mykilia Reed during the closing program of the golf clinic.

Young golfers receive recognition
July 19
03:30 2018

For over two decades the Vic Johnson Junior Golf Clinic has been introducing the game to the kids of Winston-Salem.  On July 13, they held their annual closing program, which honors the history and participants of the clinic.

Johnson holds his clinic at the Reynolds Park Golf Course.  The clinic participants come from several summer programs from the community centers around the city, most of which are minority children who have never played the game before.

Johnson, who has been around the game of golf for four decades, continues to give the young people of Winston-Salem this opportunity because the city has given him so much, he says.

“We had over 100 kids this year and they came out and did all they could do by coming out swinging and trying to hit the ball,” he said.  “They made some friendships, and they are some good kids because they try and do everything you tell them to do.

“I feel good because I got to give something back” Johnson said.  “My motto when I left school was enter to learn, go out to serve, and that’s what I have tried to do the last 40 something years.”

Johnson says it’s important for those that can “do some things” to come back and help the kids that need help in any capacity they can. 

The passion for the kids and the city Johnson exhibits comes from his upbringing.  He says his mother and father made education a top priority in the Johnson household when he was growing up.  He instilled those same morals into his children as well.  Johnson’s son, Gearld, even drives up each week from Atlanta to coach the kids the game.

“There has been a long list of us that went through this school system in this city, and we try to do all we could to put something back,” said Johnson.

During the closing program, the kids were treated to a cookout.  They were also given T-shirts and trophies for their participation in the clinic.  The Samuel Puryear Sr. award was given to Mykilia Reed for her outstanding performance this summer.

In the future, Johnson says he wants these kids to continue to frequent the program as they age.  In turn when they become of age, he wishes they would also come back to contribute to the program for the next generation of clinic attendees.

“I want these kids involved in this program every summer because people always talk about keeping kids out of trouble but you have to work with them and stay with them because you will be surprised about what you can accomplish,” Johnson went on to say. 

“I want the people of this community to pick up that Chronicle and look at these kids because that is the only news we have at this time that is talking about these kids.  We need something back in the black community so our people know what we are doing.”

Johnson pointed to Alex Bohannon, a candidate for Forsyth County school board in this year’s primary, as an example of a kid who came through his golf program and went on to future success, although he lost in the primary.

“It is just a good thing to have a kid in a structured program and teach them something that will be beneficial in life,” he said.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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