When John Ashworth led the charge to save Goat Hill, the vision was always much bigger than just a golf course.
Now, that vision continues to come into focus. On Monday, the golf apparel icon played 108 holes to raise money for the newest community program based at Goat Hill, the recently launched Caddie & Leadership Academy.
"We've got quite a few kids in the area that are kind of at risk," said Ashworth. "We're trying to teach them how to caddie, and also meet a lot of different variety of people. We put them together with people that might have a positive influence on them and help mentor them, in ways that they normally wouldn't be exposed to in everyday life."
North County Junior Golf President Dave Emerick joined Ashworth for the six laps around the course.
"We consider golf a gift," said Emerick, "and if we can give the gift of golf to kids who don't have the opportunity or the resources to play golf, we want to give them that opportunity, that chance."
Of course, kids from the new academy got to try out their caddying skills. Kris Ramos, who toted Ashworth's bag, described the relational connection that develops during a round.
"You do get to know them. It turns into a vibe after a while. You start to know their game, they understand how you play, so it's a bond in a way."
"They spend three or four hours with a guy that's a CEO of a company, and they have to relate to them," said Ashworth. "It's a really valuable learning experience for a kid that's 15 years old that wouldn't normally have that."