Western Springs golfer strives to spread enthusiasm
Lyons Township High School senior Ryan Hudson of Western Springs helped raise $27,000 to begin a junior golf program through the Greater La Grange YMCA. | Photo courtesy of Ryan Hudson
Name: Ryan Hudson
Golf Personal Best: 69 on a desert mountain course in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Proud moments: A second-place finish in 2011 for the Lyons Township High School Golf Team in the Illinois High School Association state series in 2011 and third place in 2012
Favorite golfer: Tiger Woods
Top spectator moment: Watching the recent Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:11AM
WESTERN SPRINGS — Raising $27,000 was a giant step, but the work has only just begun for Ryan Hudson.
The Lyons Township High School senior from Western Springs organized a golf fundraising event in August to benefit the Greater La Grange YMCA and begin a junior golf program.
“We got the money, and the next phase is to start developing what we want to do with the program and what we want to offer,” Hudson said. “We’ll be getting equipment and getting the word out to future recipients who will be able to use the program.”
Hudson was scheduled to meet in late October with a representative of The First Tee, an international youth development program seeking to shape values and encourage leadership through the game of golf. The program is open to children and teens of all ages and backgrounds, especially those who wouldn’t normally be exposed to the sport.
“I’ve been a golfer since I was really young,” Hudson said. “I’ve loved it since I was 6 or 7 years old.”
Love of the game and a long-standing family commitment to the YMCA, where he is a junior board member, moved Hudson to undertake the fundraiser.
“When I found out they didn’t have a junior golf program, I thought with my background and my family’s knowledge of golf, I could help start a program,” he said.
Hudson said his mom, Barbara, was instrumental in lining up major sponsors for each hole at the Chicago Highlands Golf Club, a private links-style course in Westchester.
Golfers also could plunk down an extra $20 to win a car on a challenging par-3 hole.
“The pin was in a tough spot, but a couple of guys came close,” he said.
There was also a chance to place a bet and beat the pro, whoever landed closer to the pin on a par-3 hole. A silent auction for a number of donated prizes boosted the event’s totals.
Hudson also enlisted the help of his brothers, Daniel, a junior, and Jonathon, a sophomore, and other members of LT’s golf team.
“Each of the kids on the team were asked to invite three players and pass it on to their friends, and before you know it, the event was much bigger than we thought,” Ryan Hudson said.
Although Hudson will graduate in June and plans to study business in college, he said his brothers agreed to chair the second and third annual events.
“We’ve got a little legacy going on,” he said.
Three brothers close in age and skills on the golf course can’t help but engage in friendly competition.
“Right now, I would say Dan has had the best season, but for the most part, throughout the summer, we were all competitive,” he said.