Adult education offers golf class with a former pro

Education at the Kaua‘i Community School for Adults is not all reading, writing and arithmetic.

While the fundamentals such as literacy and job training are at the heart of the curriculum, the school also makes room for golf.

That’s right, golf for beginners is one of many special interest offerings for the west/south complex.

“I love to see people succeed without it costing them a fortune,” golf instructor James Cheek said.

For $48 plus the cost of golf balls, students receive 12 hours of lessons at Kukuiolono Golf Course in Kalaheo that could cost $1,500 elsewhere.

Cheek picked up golf when he was 13 years old and played for his junior high and high school golf teams as well as at college. In 1990, he turned pro for the Aloha Section PGA.

Since then, he has passed on his knowledge of the sport as a teacher at a number of golf shops, and he even released an instructional DVD, “Magic Formula.”

“I can teach someone to hit a golf club like a pro in 20 minutes rather than 20 years,” Cheek said.

He noted that he enjoys watching beginners learn to love the game.

“They are great people to teach,” Cheek said.

Cheek gets to meet many people from the community through the Kaua‘i Community School for Adults class. He said there is less pressure in group lessons, and students end up making new friends.

“People in my first class still hang out and play golf together,” Cheek said.

The class’ first five lessons cover putting, chipping and pitching, the magic formula, hitting the driver off the tee box, and golf etiquette and rules. In the sixth and final lesson, students play on the course, and Cheek watches that they have not forgotten anything.

Audrey Anderson enrolled in the class with her husband, Eric. Anderson said the class is affordable and convenient for them, as the couple live in the neighborhood.

“It works,” Anderson said about Cheek’s method. “I definitely am able to enjoy golf more.”

Paul Montplaisir, recently retired and new to the island, said he saw a flyer for the class at a public library. The timing was right, as his children had just given him a set of golf clubs.

Montplaisir said he will be ready to play the course once he is finished with the course.

“He’s a great instructor,” he said of Cheek. “If you listen to him, you’ve got it made.”

Terry Proctor, vice principal of Kaua‘i Community School for Adults, said staff are always looking for ways to expand the curriculum.

“We’re always brainstorming for courses to offer,” Proctor said.

But necessary to launching a new class is sufficient enrollment, as course fees cover the instructor’s pay.

“We offer these (special interest tuition classes) as a community service,” Proctor said.

Golf for beginners will be offered Tuesdays at Kiahuna Golf Club in Po‘ipu and Wednesdays at Kukuiolono Golf Course in Kalaheo. The classes begin June 19 and 20, respectively, and take place in the evening from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

According to school officials, registration begins May 30 and the golf classes fill up fast, as the limit is eight people per section.

East and north locations for the summer golf classes include Wailua and Princeville.

The school’s summer session runs June 18 to July 27.

For more information, visit the school’s Web site at or call 274-3390.


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