Richmond girls get lessons in golf and STEM at San Francisco’s Harding Park

Eight young Richmond golfers participated last week in a two-day STEM academy at San Francisco's Harding Park.

Eight young Richmond golfers got the chance to practice at one of the Bay Area’s most storied golf courses last week — San Francisco’s Harding Park — as part of a two-day academy that also included instruction on how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) play a role in the sport.

The all-girls academy, sponsored by Chevron as part of the company’s ongoing initiative to teach kids STEM subjects through athletics, took place Aug. 11-12 at the golf course that is scheduled to host the PGA Championship in 2020.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) co-sponsored the academy, and some of the girls who participated are from the Northern California Golf Association Youth On Course program in Richmond. Other participants came from the City of Richmond Recreation Department’s summer program.

During the morning at the academy, the young golfers were taught fundamentals from LPGA-USGA professionals. During the afternoon, they participated in STEM activities involving golf.

“They learned a lot; they loved it,” said Janet Johnson, one of the City of Richmond staffers who attended the academy.

The girls learned both how to swing a golf club and also what caused the ball to fly, among other lessons, Johnson said.

“They got a refresher course [in STEM subjects] right before the start of camp,” Johnson said.

Conditions during the academy were perfect, with the morning fog burning off early, Johnson added. The kids were so excited, they were alert and ready to go at 7 a.m., she said.

Chevron Richmond isn’t only using golf as a fun way to offer instruction on STEM subjects to young people. The company recently sponsored a STEM baseball clinic for Richmond youths, and also the distribution of Science of the Game baseball workbooks.