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February 12, 2001

Class Designs Mini-Golf Hole
Pill of Frustration

Students in a Sports Management Interim class at Calvin had a hands-on opportunity last month to do something they'd spent a fair bit of class time talking about.

The 15-student class, under the leadership of professor Andy DeVries, designed and built a mini-golf hole for the Junior Achievement National City Skywalk Open, a fundraising event in Grand Rapids that sees a 27-hole min-golf course set up in the skywalk that connects many of the city's major businesses.

"One of the things we talk about (in this class) is event planning, so this fit right in," says DeVries.

The class started out by doing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of the opportunity.

"We discovered all the various gifts God has given team members-dreaming, influencing, accounting, attention to detail-and applied these gifts to the golf hole project," says DeVries.

Based on their findings, the class broke up into four groups, each in charge of different aspects of the project.

"We ran it like a business," says Amanda Whittaker, a recreation major from South Bend. "Everyone had responsibilities; it's not like one person was doing all the work."

One of the most significant challenges was to come up with a design that represented Calvin and stood up to the other holes on a very limited budget. "What we came up with was kind of like a three-point sermon," says DeVries with a broad smile.

Three tunnels through the hole's main feature, a castle, represented Academics, Fine Arts and Athletics, and Diversity. The castle was decorated with flags from many of the states and countries that Calvin students come from. Background music represented various elements of Calvin and the school's 125-year history. Students, dressed in medieval garb, were on hand throughout the day to explain the hole and answer questions.

Two weeks of teamwork and dedication to working on the hole outside of class paid off, earning DeVries' class second place (just one point shy of first) in the contest's rookie division.

"Calvin's hole was amazing,"says Jeremy Monty, Senior Special Events Manager at Junior Achievement. The fundraiser also paid off for Junior Achievement as $28,500 was raised to support itseducation programs.

--written by media relations writer Abe Huyser-Honig (class of 2004)

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Contact Phil de Haan.