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Alcorn State golf motivates youth at Harvest Open

NATCHEZ — The Harvest Club Open was more than a golf tournament for Lynette Smith. It was an opportunity to give back in more ways than one.

West, a Natchez native, is the head men ‘sand women’s golf coach at Alcorn State University and the first black woman with such a title in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Smith attended Natchez High School before receiving a golf scholarship to Texas Southern University.

And she said none of her accomplishments would’ve been possible without the guidance of her father Eddie West and the Harvest Club.

“Personally, they were always out there helping me with my practice,” Smith said. “I toured with my father and the Harvest Club competing in events throughout the year. They helped me mentally and skillfully with my golfing. I thank the harvest club for everything they’ve done for me.”

And for the second year in a row last weekend, Smith was invited as a special guest to speak at the Special Olympics Golf Clinic at the 2014 Harvest Club Open.

Smith also brought her golf team to Duncan Park to share tips and advice with the youth.

“It truly touches my heart (to help the children), I guess I have a soft spot for them,” she said. “(My players) gained friendships (with those children).”

Smith said the turnout was much larger than last year, and she was happy to see so many young faces eager to learn more about golf.

The Alcorn State golf team showed the children the proper way to grip a golf club and the proper technique for a golf swing.

Harvest Club Open director K.G. Watkins said he took advantage of the opportunity to have Alcorn State’s golf team in town by bringing his Ferriday High School golf team to the clinic.

“I wanted them to see that there are places you can go with golf,” Watkins said. “The Alcorn team was the perfect example of taking golf to the next level.”

 

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