ESCANABA - Symetra Tour golfers got an opportunity to rekindle their youth Wednesday afternoon when they visited the Salvation Army to meet with summer campers.
Rebecca Durham of St. Simons Island, Ga., Calle Nielson of Nashville, Tenn., and Mary Narzisi of Omaha, Neb., had a blast playing capture the flag and making crafts, before sitting down with the campers and taking their questions.
The visit was part of the Outside the Ropes initiative to learn about the communities the athletes visit. On Tuesday, Symetra Tour players visited Lakestate Industries.
Though the kids seemed to know what they were doing, the athletes needed a refresher course.
"I haven't played since probably middle school," said Durham.
After a few minutes, it became clear the golfers were as competitive at capture the flag as they are on the links, all in fun of course. The three golfers volunteered for the visit. As opportunities arise in each community the golfers visit, they choose which ones they'd like to participate in.
"We were actually told we'd be basket weaving today," said Nielson, noting what actually transpired was much better.
"Any time you have an opportunity to play with kids, it's a good thing. They're so carefree," she said. "Everyone was so happy to have us here and it's awesome to give back to the community."
The ladies also helped campers make and decorate cut-out hearts and crosses. Durham said the visit was also a chance to be an ambassador for her sport.
"It definitely is," she said. "When we went to Illinois, there were kids there that had never seen golf before, so it's a good opportunity to get kids interested."
During the question and answer session, the athletes were mostly asked about their hometowns and travel schedules. The golfers explained that they mostly drive to the different locations - a different state each week over 16 tournaments.
So far, the three Symetra Tour rookies seemed to be enjoying their first trip to the Upper Peninsula.
"Where I'm from, it's all marshland," said Durham. "This is a different kind of pretty."
Narzisi said "It's absolutely beautiful here."