Find out how DAPCEP, PXG teach science and engineering through golf – GolfWRX
We all know the PGA Tour is about giving back to communities. Most of us don’t see where this money, time and resources are going, but I was invited by PXG to personally attend one of the many programs. DAPCEP is a non-profit organization in Detroit that provides students with the opportunity to further their education in fields that interest them. PXG and DAPCEP joined forces at the Rocket Mortgage Classic to allow students interested in science, physics and engineering to learn more about these subjects through the game of golf.
The eyes of the CAPCEP students were wide as they saw all the golf equipment, practice greens and layout bays around the store. The first few minutes were filled with exploring the location and all it had to offer.
The morning started with presentations and PXG explaining how they are an engineering company that manufactures golf clubs. The first speaker was Caleb Kroloff, Senior R&D Engineer at PXG, and he talked a bit about his journey to becoming an engineer and why he loved the field so much. His mention of going to college without a clear plan of what he would do for a career resonated with many students. Caleb also explained how you can search and research careers in any passions or interests you might have. He gave examples like watching different sports and how someone has to design the materials and components that go into sports equipment. Engineering and problem solving are fields that offer endless possibilities, if you look a little deeper.
PXG had set up a few stations in the store that focus on different educational subjects requiring math and physics. Inside one of the dressing bays was a station that focused on full balls and swing speeds. The Smash Factor was not a term these students were familiar with, but the math to calculate it was easy to learn. It was fun to watch these young minds start asking questions about golf shots and how different variables affect flight.
The next station focused on the putt and the physics that face angle and speed had on putts. This station also allowed students to try their hand at putting putters, while getting tips on how to hold a putter and learning to design their own alignment marks. The final station was built to show how COR has been tested and calculated to ensure correct energy transfer across a clubface. This once again took a foreign concept and made it into an easy math problem.
After STEM learning at PXG, all of the students headed to the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Country Club to watch Wednesday’s practice round from the VIP box behind the 18th green. Not only did the students get a VIP tour of the PXG tour truck, but they also got to meet some celebrities. Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders and touring player Cameron Tringale both stopped by to meet these students and talk about education and opportunities. On the course, grand prize winner Zach Johnson went under the ropes to wave and take pictures with these students.
At the end of the day, you could see that some students had really grown up and enjoyed the game of golf. Many were also open-minded to new goals and opportunities to pursue. It was a great day to take it all in and see a small part of what partnerships like DAPCEP and PXG can do in communities across the country.