Orlando, Fla. – What started out as a conversation within the Orlando community, lead to generations of kids learning the game of golf and gaining mentors.
Dr. T. J. Dorsey has owned a dental practice on West Jackson Street in Orange County for nearly 50 years, but he also has set his roots elsewhere in the City Beautiful.
After hearing from concerned citizens in the community, he teamed up with the City of Orlando to create the minority youth golf program in September of 1991 called Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association, or OMYGA.
“We give kids in the community an opportunity to become exposed to the game, so that they may make an informed decision as to whether or not it is what they want to do with it, if anything. We make learning golf affordable,” Dorsey said.
A brochure from OMYGA says they were first given clubs, gloves, and a field designated for practice and golf course playing. They were then able to move to the J.B. Callahan Center when a golf facility was constructed in 1993. That facility is named after Dorsey.
Today, the program is offered to kids ages 6 to 18 years old, and it even gives them the skills they need to qualify for high school and college teams around the country. The organization has participated in many tournaments and even brought home some awards.
Though the purpose of OMYGA is deeper than golf. Dorsey says they want to give inner-city and urban-area kids the tools they need to succeed in life. They’re able to learn discipline, which can ultimately offer personal growth.
“We have many students graduate from High School and go on to college with Golf Scholarships, playing on College Golf Teams. Because of golf, many of our students have graduated from College with successful careers, such as doctors, PGA and LPGA Professionals, accountants, Engineers etc. We are extremely proud of our students successes,” Dorsey said.
The program meets two to four times a week, and runs from February to October each year.
Dorsey was inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame in 2007 for his decades-long effort helping Central Florida minority kids.