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Vic Johnson Golf Clinic celebrates 20th year

Photos by Timothy Ramsey- Every student that participated in the clinic received a trophy.

Vic Johnson Golf Clinic celebrates 20th year
July 13
04:03 2017

The name Vic Johnson and the game of golf has been synonymous in the city of Winston-Salem for a long time.  On Friday, July 7, the Vic Johnson Junior Golf Clinic just wrapped up its 20th year with anaward ceremony at the Reynolds Park Golf Course.

The ceremony was put together to highlight the accomplishments the children have made over the summer.  There was a motivational speech given by Sam Puryear, former head golf coach at Queens College.  He told the students the importance of a good education along with the good things golf has done for him over the years.

“I wanted them to know that dreams come true,” said Puryear.  “At the end of the day, regardless of what you do or don’t have at home or regardless how active your parents are or are not, you can be successful.”

“Without golf, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he continued.  “From all the places I have been, to the people I have met, to the things I have seen, they all involve golf.  I have been knowing Mr. Johnson my whole life, and we had the opportunity to forge a really close relationship.”

Puryear says he used to always speak with Johnson about bringing in more young minority children into the game of golf.  He says showing the game to the younger demographic is paramount to expand the game.  He thinks that half of the battle is just exposing the children  to the game.

For Puryear, he says he stepped down from his position as coach at Queens College because he wants to impact the community more.  He says he enjoyed his time in Charlotte coaching but feels there are more fruitful opportunities out there.

Following Puryear’s message, Johnson gave out the Sam Puryear Award to DeMarcus Mashack as the top golfer at the clinic.  Mashack says he was very happy to win the award, especially with all the students who attended the clinic.

“I really want to thank all the coaches for all they have done for me,” he said.  “I would not have been able to get to this point without them.”

Johnson says he really enjoys introducing the game of golf to young people for the first time.  He says golf has been really good to him over the years and hopes it can do the same for many of the young people in his clinic.

“I’ve been very happy because I want people to know that we [African-Americans] can do more than just play basketball and football,” Johnson said.  “If you don’t have a golf course and you don’t have much money, golf is going to be hard, so I figured as someone who knows the game like I do could show them and they could benefit from it.”

“You have to start kids at a very young age for them to enjoy a sport and to stay in it,” Johnson said.  “I played the sport because when I was a kid I did a lot of caddying and saw people with nice cars and other things.  When I got older, I saw no reason that my children could not have that, also.  Athletics has a lot to do with the people we meet and the contacts we develop.”

Johnson says after 20 years he is not sure how much longer he will continue to hold the clinic.  He says his wife recently had surgery and he wants to make sure she is OK to continue with him because of her contributions to the camp.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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