PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL. – After 15 years a professional golfer, Rob Strano’s felt a calling to share the game he loves with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. In 2003 he took up sign language and that decision was one that changed the course of his life.
“At the end of my playing career I got injured and I was led to take up sign language, not knowing why GOD was dragging me in that direction,” said Strano. “One day after learning the language I googled golf deaf instruction and found out that there was nobody actively teaching deaf kids how to play golf in their own language.”
In the years since Strano has become a Golf Channel instructor and the Director of US Golf and Deaf Camps. In 2004 he held his first clinic in Florida and now travels around the country teaching golf to those who may have never been able to learn the game.
“It’s a blast and they have a lot of fun,” said Donna Johnson who brought a group of students to The Players Championship from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind to learn the game of golf under the direction of Strano. “Rob makes sure that the activities he has planned, the kids really enjoy. His teaching them as well and it’s not just fun and games. They’re learning as well.”
This is the 12th year of this event at TPC and the students learn something new every single year.
“He told me about his experience growing up playing golf and I thought wow that’s what he’s been doing his whole life,” said Cassidy Dainty. “I think that’s pretty cool.”
For most of the students this is their first exposure to the game of golf and this is also their first opportunity to attend The Players Championship.
“They’re not going to see another golf venue as nice as this one,” said Johnson. “So having the opportunity to come and see this and meet some of the pros and see them practice, they will talk about that for a lifetime.”
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