How Luther Burbank’s Golf Program Resurrected After 20 Years

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SACRAMENTO — It’s been 20 years since Luther Burbank High School has fielded a golf team, but thanks to the community and a determined teacher, the Titans’ golf program is in full swing now.

The small group of students who make up the school’s golf team are finding out what millions of others already know — hitting a golf ball is not as easy as it looks.

“I’m getting the hang of it. Getting the hang of it,” student Xao Thao said.

He and his teammates are all first-timers when it comes to the game of golf.

Teacher John Hull convinced the Burbank administration to bring the golf program back, and is now is the head coach of the Titans’ golf team.

It was not an easy program to get off the ground at an inner-city school like Burbank.

“Because most of these kids, their families have never played golf,” Hull said. “These are not golfing families.”

This year’s team started with eight players and is currently down to four. It’s been a learning experience for everyone involved.

“It has really changed my mind. I would never think that I would have been playing golf. It’s just absurd to hear at Luther Burbank, and once I heard I have to play golf,” Xao said. “I didn’t know yardage, I didn’t know teeing off.”

Coach Hull had 14 full sets of clubs donated this season, plus all the golf balls to help keep this experience on target for his student-athletes.

“Once you get it started they will come. Especially when they see that we have the clubs for them to use, they won’t have to pay any money for greens fees or practice rounds or range balls,” Hull said. “They don’t have to pay anything.”

Hull hopes to grow the program in its second year. By the looks of it, he is on his way.


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