Shannon Barnett, mom to Elk City senior golfer Brett Barnett and 2020 graduate Baylar Barnett, helped pioneer the Elk City Golf Booster Club, which supports both the boys and girls golf programs.
She has served as club secretary for 6 years. Before its existence, Elk City’s golf teams struggled to find funding.
“It’s vital for parents to step up and help kids raise money to be able to compete and keep up with schools that have more money,” Barnett said.
Baylar picked up golf “at an early age” and competed in youth tournaments.
“Brett decided if she was going to have to be at the tournaments, that she should start playing too,” Barnett said.
Golf, Barnett said, requires “mental toughness and respect” and it has given Baylar and Brett opportunities to build relationships.
“Our kids have not only learned that team sports are important and tough, but competing individually is a whole lot more pressure on kids,” Barnett said. “They were both tougher on themselves about competing and, oftentimes, we didn’t need to say a word about what they needed to do to improve!”
Barnett and her husband, Bart, also helped start the annual Charli Kauk Memorial Booster golf tournament, hosted in Elk City. Profits from the tournament benefit the golf teams’ travel, meal and gear.
Shannon admits she’s learned patience through golf, but the sport also has allowed the Barnett family to travel together to tournaments and bond while practicing on the golf course.
“Being involved in sports and extracurricular activities is vital in teaching kids a lot of life-long skills that will benefit them in the future. It also allows families to travel and spend time together while letting their kids compete,” Barnett said.