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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Giving back, helping ensure golf's future

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A lifetime of enjoyment. Leon Faucett, at left, and his son, Dean, are all smiles at the Junior Golf Clinic. Faucett has provided a free clinic for area youth for the last 15 years. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
For 15 years, Leon Faucett has hosted an annual Junior Golf Clinic at Sycamore Valley Driving range in Mt. Veronon. This week 89 area youth attended the free clinic to learn the basics of putting, chipping and driving a golf ball.

"Kids are the future of golf," said the 85-year-old PGA Pro Faucett. "Currently, there are 15 individuals golfing on scholarship in college who have attended this clinic. I have always felt it was my duty to help teach and share my love for the game of golf."

Every participant at his clinic receives some type of award, all sponsored by Faucett.

Hitting it a ton. Nick Neumeier, of Pierce City, was one of 89 area youth who participated in the free annual Junior Golf Clinic at Sycamore Valley Driving Range in Mt. Vernon. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
"Golf is the game of a lifetime," explained Faucett. "You are never too old to play. I want these kids to develop a love and appreciation for the game. That is what makes me happy."

Faucett first cut his teeth in golf when he was 10 years old caddying at the Aurora's golf course.

"It was only nine holes and had sand greens back then," remarked Faucett. "Bob Moore gave me my first set of clubs when I was 12 years old, I've been playing ever since."

In 1949, Faucett received his PGA membership after serving a five-year apprenticeship under Blue Hills Country Club Pro Leland Gibson in Kansas City.

"He was a great professional," remarked Faucett. "He taught me about the need to give back, provide for the future of the sport."

Faucett served as the owner and PGA head professional at Duck Creek Golf Club in Garland, Tex. until his retirement fifteen years ago when he moved back to southwest Missouri.

Faucett's clinics have always had a focus or a theme.

"This year the PGA is focusing on teaching golf etiquette to the youth," said Faucett. "I have always been proud of the fact that when my kids go and play they know how to act. Golf has brought me a lot of pleasure over the years. I hope that these youth can grow and benefit in life from the lessons that they learned here."

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