The Illinois PGA Section and the Maryville Golf Academy, led by PGA Professional Juan Espejo, will be spotlighted on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program on Wednesday, March 16, in celebration of the PGA of America’s Centennial.
Maryville Academy, founded in 1883 in Des Plaines, Ill., is as a childcare organization dedicated to helping children and families reach their fullest potential by empowering intellectual, spiritual, moral and emotional growth.
In 1994, Illinois PGA Section Foundation officers and the Maryville Board of Directors partnered to create the Maryville Golf Academy as a means to introduce golf to Maryville’s children and adolescents who would not otherwise have an opportunity to learn and play the game. Many of these children are wards of the state of Illinois and reside at Maryville, and the program teaches them golf’s inherent values, helps them to learn basic golf skills, and gives them golf-related vocational training that they can carry throughout their lives.
Maryville Golf Academy Program Director and Illinois PGA Professional Juan Espejo has helped grow the program to approximately 800 participants annually with the addition of students from Chicago Public Schools, Special Olympics and other organizations. Espejo recently created a golf ball recycling project, where he teaches the participants to refurbish “orphan” golf balls.
In celebration of its Centennial, the PGA of America has partnered with Golf Channel to shine a spotlight on all 41 PGA Sections and their featured programs and initiatives led by PGA Professionals nationwide. The PGA Section Spotlights are scheduled to air on Golf Channel through May 4.
The spotlights will run in conjunction with the #ThxPGAPro Centennial celebration social media campaign, where golfers everywhere can post videos, photos and messages in support of their favorite PGA Professionals on ThxPGAPro.com or through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Section Spotlights also will be featured prominently on ThxPGAPro.com.
To learn more about the Maryville Golf Academy, please call 847-294-1834.