In 2014, Angels for Hearts developed I ♥ Golf—a first-of-its-kind annual series of golf clinics, held at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, hosted in partnership and affiliation with The Morton Golf Foundation and The Northern California Institute of Golf for Kids. Golf is recommended for heart kids as a safe sport by pediatric cardiologists. For many heart kids, it is the first sport they have ever played. The free clinic series are for heart kids and their siblings ages 4 to 18, and each player receives their own set of clubs and a I ♥ Golf logo polo shirt.
You may wonder, why golf? Kim asked her cardiologist to explain:
“Golf is a fantastic game for heart kids for multiple reasons. First, playing golf is great fun and offers a wide range of mental and physical benefits. It is a social event that allows the kids to get out and mingle. Just a good walk in the fresh air does wonders for endorphin and serotonin levels, leading to improved mood and reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
A round of golf is great for physical fitness—it isn’t overly strenuous, yet exercises muscle groups of the arms, legs, back and abdomen. Walking the course and a full, 18-hole round of golf involves a walk of around 5-7 miles or more. The less energetic players can choose to ride in a golf cart and play 9-holes or just putt and chip, still expending a significant amount of energy.
Golf is a low-impact sport, making it an ideal activity for heart kids who shouldn’t participate in rigorous or contact sports. Angels for Hearts is a great organization for introducing the kids to golf and making them comfortable and excited about the game. I applaud the organization for fulfilling a niche that is sorely needed to assist these kids along the road to recovery and throughout their lives.”
John Chin, MD
Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program
Sutter Heart and Vascular Institute