Tierra Del Sol Country Club was teeming with children on Tuesday at the Richard Peña Foundation’s free golf clinic for kids.
Over 120 kids were on the driving range and the three practice greens, learning the fine art of golf. Several golf professionals and a number of Belen and Los Lunas high school golfers helped out in the larger-than-expected free clinic.
“We had a limit of 120 kids that we could take into the clinic,” said Charlie Peña, who helped establish the foundation in the name of his late brother. “We actually had to turn 40 or 50 kids away because there was no more room.”
The Peña Foundation is involved in a number of golf-related events in Valencia County every year, including two free golf camps for children.
Charlie Peña said his brother would be proud to see so many kids interested in learning the game he loved.
“Richard loved golf, and he we love to get kids involved, especially in something like this,” Charlie Peña said. “It’s something that Richard always wanted to do.”
The foundation’s goal is to offer young people opportunities to achieve success in whatever endeavors they choose, not just golf. The foundation awarded scholarships to the top senior student-athletes at Belen and Los Lunas high schools this year.
Still, golf is the main focus, and this camp was designed to get kids out to the course to swing a club, some of them for the first time.
“It’s good for the kids to get out and exercise instead of sitting around the house watching TV and eating junk,” Peña added. “Especially now, when so many kids look up to golfers like Tiger Woods. We like to get them out there to feed that dream.”
The next Tiger Woods may or may not have been at Tierra Del Sol on Tuesday. But at least 120 kids had the opportunity to learn to play.
The foundation is planning another camp later in the year, but no date has been set.