Students from Providence’s DelSesto Middle School will take to the greens for their spring golf season at Button Hole golf course as part of a new partnership between the school and the Providence After School Alliance (PASA). Teacher Jessica Sylvester initiated the program last year, with just a few children, in cooperation with Button Hole Head Pro Dan Gaughan. Word spread and interest grew, as the fledgling group built their skills and paid a visit to the CVS Charity Classic last summer.
By fall, a dozen golfers had signed on and began to play Button Hole’s 9-hole course alongside peers from other schools. With the support of PASA to formalize the arrangement, and a legislative grant secured by Representative John Carnevale, the group will now form a team, competing with schools from around the state who also enjoy Button Hole’s oasis of green in the city’s Silver Lake neighborhood.
Club member Jaelyn Waters says she had never been to a golf course, even mini-golf. She says she’s an active person and loves sports, so she was thrilled to try something new. She’s quickly building her skills, and says, “eventually… the course!”
Maycol Betanco has been with the club for a year. Sylvester identifies him as one of her stand-outs, and says he was at Buttonhole all winter long using the simulator. “Golf is really fun. This game you can play from young to very old. It’s a game where there’s no defense,” he says, so it’s all about building your own skill.
Armed with donated shirts and caps from Bright Ideas Apparel and putters in half a dozen colors donated from Cure Putters, the students are enjoying spring afternoons on the fairways. Instruction is free, supported by the grant, and as they progress, the aspiring golfers can become “Button Hole Kids,” eligible to play on their own for just $1 a round.
Karl Hetzler and Walter Gosciminski of Cure Putters joined the students and Sylvester to kick off their season on May 6 at Button Hole, located off Hartford Avenue. Gosciminski also owns Bright Ideas Apparel.