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For District Youth, Golf Remains an Uncharted Course

Garvin also is the general manager at Langston in Northeast, which celebrated its 70th anniversary this month with a flurry of events. At Langston, Garvin's program also operates the Interpretive Education Center, which provides classrooms and computers for students to do homework. A similar facility is planned for East Potomac, as well.

Garvin's efforts mirror many of those that Woods's foundation is attempting. Garvin, Berry and others involved in D.C. scholastic sports have emphasized the need for athletics as a tool for academic achievement.

Woods's plans to make Washington a central part of his brand's identity would appear to be a perfect way to join together the city's many youth golf projects and give the game added exposure among teenagers. As Garvin said, it would be silly to have the biggest name in golf in town but not promoting the game.

Woods "would bring more exposure to the sport, but he may alienate those who've been in the trenches here for so many years," Garvin said. "There has to be some dialogue. We've sent letters to his group, telling them that we want to help. We'd love to have Tiger in this town.

"This can't be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. There has to be some kind of dialogue so there's some consistency."

McLaughlin said his organization is unaware of any overtures by Garvin or others involved with existing youth golf initiatives in the District. Nevertheless, McLaughlin is not dismissing any possible relationship with those programs but emphasized Woods's learning center has a distinct prototype.

"We would be open to it," he said, "but it would have to fit into the confines of our educational program."

Currently, golf doesn't appear to fit in the confines of the DCPS educational program and that's something several coaches are trying to change.

"We want to introduce them to nontraditional sports, like golf, that will be together with them for life," said Lucille Hester, athletic director at Hardy Middle School, which sent 20 students into Berry's program this spring.

Berry had hoped his program wouldn't still be around after 22 years, that DCPS would have restarted its program.

Berry said: "I told them, 'If you provide me with kids, I'll be fine.' I know they've taken advantage of me, and that's fine. It became obvious you needed it more than one day once a year. I wanted them hooked on golf and in order to do that, you've got to spend some time."

Wilson was the only DCPS school to field a golf team this season. The Tigers had a roster of six that played five matches against area private schools. Jason Fabrikant, a 1995 Wilson graduate and the team's first-year coach, said his students were turned on to the game at home, and not through any school effort.

"There's a lack of synergy between getting students interested in golf and getting them out there," he said.


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