Golf camp helps sick children learn to play

- On the first hole at Rush Creek Golf Course Club, Ryan Kranz is taking a swing at his favorite pastime.

Thanks to a heart condition, Ryan has undergone three open heart surgeries in 10 years--but that's no handicap in playing the sport he loves.

"The best thing for me is usually hitting a ball with my driver or putting," he said Thursday. "[It's a little scary] because I don't know what's going to happen."

Kranz is a part of a camp for kids with cancer and other chronic conditions called "Golf for Good" at the Maple Grove golf course. The nonprofit was started earlier this year by Minnetonka High School golfers and siblings Preston and Ally Chan as a way to give back to the community.

Some of the kids know their way around a golf club, while others are picking one up for the first time. In addition to learning the basics, like driving and putting, they also play games like a special version of tic-tac-toe.

"Our main priority is for them to have fun and alleviate some of their stress," Preston Chan said. "Just for them to get outside and hopefully they take away a liking for golf and keep playing throughout their lives."

The actual camp will run twice a month all summer at Rush Creek.

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