U.S. Deaf Golf Camps give FSDB students lessons at TPC Sawgrass

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PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- For 10 years, Rob Strano has been teaching deaf students to play golf through the U.S. Deaf Golf Association camps.

On Tuesday, he took students from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind through the paces at the mini 17th hole at the Stadium Village.

"It's definitely a tough shot for them since they've never played before," Strano said.

It's a 35-yard version of the famed 17th hole, par 3, compete with an island green in a pool.

"Yeah it was tough the first time," said Cedric Scott, a sophomore at FSDB. "But after 3 or 4 times, it got a little easier."

Strano said teaching golf swing techniques can be tough in sign language, and can be frustrating for the deaf student.

"Yeah, if you're an interpreter who doesn't know much about golf and you take kids out to the golf course, they're not going to be successful in explaining some of the odd terminology on the golf course," he said.

Scott admitted he thought golf was boring in his little experience with it.

"I'd watch on TV sometimes," he said.

But after the clinic, he said it's starting to catch on.

"It's not boring at all," he said. "I had a lot of fun."

He went on to say he'd like to play a lot more.

And that's Strano's plan.

"I don't know if we'll have any tour pros out of these groups, but if they grow and appreciate the greatness of the game of golf and the lessons it teaches, then they'll pass that love on."

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