Palm Beach Gardens club’s young golfers get to meet the pros

Coach Sherri Pla and her Junior Elite Team laugh during one-on-one time with 2015 Honda Classic winner Padraig Harrington. Photo courtesy of Candice Temple

Coach Sherri Pla and her Junior Elite Team laugh during one-on-one time with 2015 Honda Classic winner Padraig Harrington. Photo courtesy of Candice Temple

The next Ernie Els or Padraig Harrington just might be among the Palm Beach Gardens golfers who got to meet the pros and take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Honda Classic on Tuesday.

RELATED: Honda Classic 2017: Gardens boy born with one arm challenges pros

Five golfers from Palm Beach Gardens’ Sandhill Crane Golf Club Junior Elite Golf Team between the ages of 10 and 16 got a closeup view of the golf tournament at PGA National Resort & Spa, according to a news release from the city.

Sandhill Crane Junior Elite Golf Team (l to r) Coach Sherri Pla, City Projects Director Charlotte Presensky, Abby Garber, Ethan Keen, Staci Pla, (back row) Nick Macsuga, Cameron Meek.

Sandhill Crane Junior Elite Golf Team (l to r) Coach Sherri Pla, City Projects Director Charlotte Presensky, Abby Garber, Ethan Keen, Staci Pla, (back row) Nick Macsuga, Cameron Meek.

The junior golfers are: Staci Pla, 10; Ethan Keen, 10; Cameron Meek, 14; Abby Garber, 15; and Nick Macsuga, 16, according to the city.

The kids spent quality time with pros including Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, Jason Dufner, Boo Weekley, Daniel Berger and Harold Varner III. Harrington, the 2015 Honda Classic winner, told them to hit long, even if it means their balls end up in trees.

Harrington was unable to recover his own ball when it became lodged in a palm tree at last year’s tournament.

“You know the great thing about hitting it into the trees? You’ll have a great imagination,” Harrington told the kids, according to the news release. “Loads of power, loads of imagination, great short game…Wherever it goes, find it and enjoy the next shot.”

Els, a Jupiter resident, gave some life advice. He emphasized the importance of firm handshake, according to the news release.

The kids also learned about the golf club repair shop available to the pros, the broadcast and business elements of the tournament and security measures, according to the release.

The young golfers cheered on Tommy Morrissey in his one-armed, closest-to-the-pin challenge and ended with a Junior League Clinic featuring Bryson DeChambeau and Emiliano Grillo. Grillo selected Garber to use his club to hit a ball down range.

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