The Cal Lutheran men’s and women’s golf programs volunteered at the Ventura County Special Olympics golf competition this past Saturday at Sinaloa Golf Course in Simi Valley.
With the fall season completed for both teams, athletes took the time out of their Saturday to interact with Special Olympic athletes and their families.
At the event, there were 50 participants ranging from the ages of 8-50, with 13 Cal Lutheran golfers represented at the event.
The teams from CLU helped with a skills challenge that included chipping and putting, a 9-hole par three contest with playing partners for some of the special olympic athletes.
“It worked out that four of our teammates got to play an alternate shot format with the athletes,” said senior golfer Jake Rosen.
The format allowed the athletes and the Cal Lutheran golfers to work together with the duo alternating shots.
More members of the program helped before and after the round as well by helping with various contests and award ceremony.
“The athletes started off hitting balls on the range and there was a competition to see who could hit the straightest shot,” said Rosen. “Once they finished with that, they walked over to the putting green where there was about a five-foot putt set up and they got five tries and a point for every putt they made. After that, they competed in the nine-holes competition.”
“Coach John (Special Olympics Volunteer) told me I was going to be playing with Matt,” said Rosen. “I introduced myself and told him I’d be playing with him, and he gave me the firmest handshake ever and had the biggest smile on his face. He was really excited to be playing.”
At the end of the event all the athletes received a medal with their family and friends there to watch. Rosen said the experience was amazing.
“Just seeing how much of a difference you can make was huge,” said Rosen. “To be able to give them that experience of competing, winning and getting a medal was really rewarding. I enjoyed the experience a lot and would definitely do it again.”