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My IRGF Story

“First, how I began to play golf is when Roger Van Dyke announced that there would be a golf program at Sandridge Golf Course for elementary schoolers that wanted to play the game. So, my best friend convinced me to go with her, and I thought I would give it a try and I loved it. It was fun. I was with my friend and we were outside competing against each other. Then, I became extremely passionate for the game; I practiced every day to get better to be competitive. Golf has given me many opportunities while I play.

So, when I say golf has given me many opportunities, I mean that the IRGF has let junior golfers play at beautiful courses that are private that we get to play at. Also, in December the IRGF invited the elite players to play at Indian River Club with the Symetra Tour. It was a one-of-a-kind experience; besides it is getting rained out. Well, after my competitors left, I was the only one, and Roger called me up to give a speech in front of the whole entire tour! When, Amanda Sloop was the LPGA coordinator for the IRGF she would let the girls play 9 holes after school. At the end we wrote our “Big Golf Dream” and I wrote that I wanted to meet Lexi Thompson, and about a week later I got a call that I could go behind the ropes at the LPGA CME Globe Tour Championship and meet her; and that was my dream come true. Also, now I am a player cadette and I was able to go to Treasure Coast Elementary and Liberty Magnet Elementary and teach Snag Golf and to get the kids engaged in golf. Last year I was chosen for the PGA Junior League All Star Team and we got to play PGA Golf Club and Tequesta Country Club. We advanced, which was a great experience playing with the older players.

I will always be an ambassador for the IRGF and what it does for junior golfers.”

By Dounia Bezzari (2026)