Local PGA pro recognized for working with youth
FARMINGTON — The Professional Golf Association’s Sun Country Section has recognized Tom Yost for his work with San Juan County youth.
Yost, the PGA professional at Riverview Golf Course in Kirtland and the executive director of The First Tee of San Juan County, was awarded the section’s Youth Player Development Award earlier this month.
A press release from the Sun Country Section — which covers New Mexico and El Paso County, Texas — states that the award recognizes a PGA professional "who is a leader in junior golf, reflects the qualities and ideals of those who work with our section's youth, and provides opportunities and experiences for juniors to learn to play golf.”
"It's an amazing honor just to be nominated by your peers, but to be selected as the person in the section for junior golf, it’s really an honor,” said Yost, who has received the award three of the last four years. "I’m lucky because it’s my full-time job. There are a lot of professionals in the section who have do their work with juniors on top of running courses. It’s truly an honor to be selected by my peers."
Each summer, The First Tee of San Juan County hosts clinics to teach youth about the sport. But, even more importantly than teaching the game of golf, the program imparts life skills.
“While doing activities, they’re learning life skills, and the concept is really brilliant,” Yost said. “(As) opposed to putting a book in front of the kids, they’re out doing these activities and learning these skills, and the kids are engaged. That’s what we’re focused on — the life skills and character values.”
Moving forward, Yost said he wants more girls to get involved, and he would like to involve science, technology, engineering and math concepts into the program.
“It doesn’t seem to fit, but a lot of physics go into the game,” Yost said. “We want to introduce them to golf in a scientific manner. We have a lot of big plans, and I hope it continues to grow.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.