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REAL Golf Lessons at Camden County Golf Academy

The Camden County Recovery Encouragement Athletic Leagues (REAL) is offering a series of free golf lessons Tuesday nights beginning at 7:00 p.m. through May 9. The golf lessons are geared toward individuals in recovery and are taught by a certified golf professional.

The Camden County Recovery Encouragement Athletic Leagues (REAL) is offering a series of free golf lessons Tuesday nights beginning at 7:00 p.m. through May 9. No experience? No clubs? No problem.

The golf lessons are being given by a certified golf professional and are sponsored by the Camden County Freeholder Board’s Addiction Awareness Task Force. Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli said: “Golf is a great sport to learn to challenge your body and mind while in recovery. We know that no one is immune to the addiction of opiates and we must focus on prevention and treatment.”

Andrew Pierson is the Director of Instruction at the Camden County Golf Academy and teaches the weekly lessons. He spoke being a part of such a helpful initiative: “Golf is a great sport where you get to enjoy the outdoors and enjoy the scenery. It also gets the blood pumping. You get your competitive juices flowing. You get to enjoy the company of others and really get a good test where you try to get better every time you come out.”

During the lesson, Pierson can be seen engaging the golfers by offering pointers and dispensing friendly advice. After cautioning one student about “swinging the club like Happy Gilmore,” Pierson asked: “Remember what I showed you last week?”

Pierson said that Tuesday’s lesson was the second of five sessions. He also said that the turnout has been great and the response has been positive. “We did it last fall and we will do it again this fall. It’s the same crew. They love it here. At least I hope they do. They sure seem like they do. They definitely like to compete against each other. At first, they wanted to hit it long and far, but then they realized you can have a contest a million different ways playing golf. They started hitting different targets and enjoying that.”

He also said he enjoys sharing his passion for the sport with others: “I get to take part in this helpful initiative. It’s rather easy for me because it’s what I do on a daily basis.”

Steve Smarrito, of Glendora, has been in recovery for four years and has been attending the golf lessons. He spoke about being in recovery: “Perceiving what recovery is like, just going into a room and talking about feelings, there is so much more to it.”

He also spoke of the importance of programs like this one to help recovering addicts: “It’s important because of the age group that opiates are affecting. It’s a younger generation and this appeals to them to get involved in a conversation and keeps them busy.” It may also be worth having a look at some different online golf instruction videos and articles to help you outside of your lessons and to get you ready for the next one!

For questions about the REAL lessons, contact Anthony Bianco at 856-216-2133 or email anthony.bianco@camdencounty.com

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