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IRGF Experiences

“My name is Kira Jane Shellman and throughout my golf experience, I can truly say that the Indian River Golf Foundation (IRGF) program has made a huge impact on my life. My life has been driven by golf and has made me who I am today. These experiences that I have had through my golf “career” haven enhanced my life. My first encounter with golf started at Oslo Middle School where the TV Production teacher conducted a golf club after school; this is where I first competed with other schools in IRGF competitions.

Golf started as a fluke thing for me because of my enthusiastic dad and my TV Production teacher having a common interest in golf. I was asked if I wanted to join the OMS club after school and I agreed. Later on, I would figure out that this club would be my driving force for my love of golf. IRGF is the first organization that I played in tournaments for and it taught me a plethora of life lessons that I will carry with me forever. For example, Roger VanDyke would introduce you to people, who are involved in the golf industry and have you shake their hands and introduce yourself. This practice is important for making first impressions on people and developing relationships in your life. Along with the lessons I’ve been taught, IRGF has also given me a sense of confidence which I did not have before.

Through golf, I have learned to interact, work, and compete with other people. Building my golf skills have helped me to grow as a person and to learn to embrace my strengths. For example, I am a 5’2” petite, shy girl who has come out of her shell and has embraced her uniqueness through golf. I have learned to disregard my size and instead base my confidence on my skills and accomplishments. I have realized my self-worth and have seen the successful person I am becoming. Golf has shown me what motivations are and how when one works hard and really wants something anything is within your reach. Specifically, golf requires mental work, conditioning, and healthy habits to reach an optimal level. Diving into the challenge of working out/conditioning, eating better, and working on my mind for the mental half of the game can test one’s perseverance to see the “light at the end of the tunnel.” These efforts pay off and doing so brings so much gratification to myself because I know that if I put in double the work and double the effort I’m limitless in my endeavors.

I have a positive attitude that is reinforced by my golf accomplishments. Some of my accomplishments in golf include being the team captain and ranked number one on the Vero Beach High School Girls Golf Team, Individual State Championship, numerous wins in IRGF Competitions and South Florida Junior PGA Prep-tour events, and the Treasure Coast Golf Tour Overall Championship. All of these achievements would not have been possible without IRGF and Roger VanDyke’s influences.”

By Kira Shellman (2021)