Andrew Thayer Junior Golf Clinics at Basin Harbor Club carry on the memory of a beloved Charlotter and help area youth
By Geeda Searfoorce | The Charlotte News
A community’s generosity honors the memory of Andrew Thayer, the Charlotte native who passed away unexpectedly on March 21 in Delray Beach, Florida. A fund started by friends and family will support area youth participation in the Andrew Thayer Junior Golf Clinics at Basin Harbor Club this summer, free of charge.
The clinic, which will run four Mondays—June 20 and 27, July 11 and 18—from 9 to 11 a.m., is designed to expose students to the positive values that the game of golf provides, including sportsmanship, honesty, courtesy, appreciation and empathy, all of which Andrew Thayer lived every day of his life, according to those who knew him.
Sadie Stone, communications manager and special events coordinator at BHC, can attest to Thayer’s generosity of spirit and good will. Thayer and Stone grew up together and attended CCS and CVU at the same time. “Charlotte is such a close-knit community,” Stone said. “We had a tight crew and did so much together.”
Thayer worked at Basin Harbor, alongside Will Benton, the current director of golf, for six years, and spent many years enjoying the club with friends and family. “Andrew celebrated events here and really came to appreciate it as a special place in his and his family’s life,” Benton said.
When a family friend of the Thayers reached out to Stone, Benton and others at BHC to see if they knew of a junior golf clinic that they could donate to in honor of Thayer, the idea was born. “It was simple for us,” Stone says. “We love what we do every day and we wanted to honor Andrew with something he loved.” The community fund was launched and the plans for this summer’s clinics were begun in earnest.
“Andrew was such a great guy,” says Benton, who oversees the entire program and leads a teaching pro and staff, “and his values are embodied in all the good that the game of golf can instill in people.”
But participation in the sport is challenging for some, a reality BHC seeks to correct by offering these clinics free of charge. “The barriers to entry for some—financial concerns and time constraints—can make the sport inaccessible,” Benton said. “Making it possible for young people to learn and love the sport is the ideal way to remember Andrew.”
During the clinics, BHC staff will use unique activities and drills to better the students’ understanding of the athletic golf movement. Area youth ages 6-16 from Charlotte, Shelburne and Addison County towns are eligible. If space permits, residents of other towns are welcome. “The response has been great so far,” said Stone, “but we still have room for more students to participate.” Each of the four clinics have a maximum capacity of 30 students.
Participants will receive complimentary apparel, a BBQ celebration on the last day with lawn games, jumpy castle, food and fun (end time on the final day is 12:30 p.m.) and a gift certificate to Basin Harbor Club Golf Course for a round of golf to come back with an adult to play later in the season.