Milton Hershey School Students Learn about Shared History with Hershey Country Club
Milton Hershey School students enrolled in the Year-Round Experiences program recently learned there is much more to golf courses than clubs, balls, and bogeys. Hershey Country Club staff explained to their young visitors how they use lessons they learn in school to care for the club Milton S. Hershey founded more than 90 years ago.
Matt Malick, director of golf courses and grounds, started with a history session. He explained how Mr. Hershey opened the club in 1930 to enhance recreational opportunities for the citizens of Hershey. The club opened 21 years after Mr. Hershey opened what was then the Hershey Industrial School, now MHS. When the country club hosted the PGA Championship in 1940, Mr. Hershey presented the trophy to winner Bryon Nelson.
“When Mr. Hershey opened the club, the courses looked perfect,” Malick said. “Here we are, almost 100 years later, and the courses still look perfect.”
The students learned that perfectly-manicured lawns are no accident. Much like students must keep up with their chores, Malick and his colleagues spend many hours mowing lawns, manicuring grass, and raking sand.
HE&R Manager of Planning and Design Chris Brown told the students that the club staff uses science to ensure a green, weed-free, landscape.
The country club is a business, which requires a lot of math. The finance staff, Malik explained, carefully calculates income and expenses to ensure Mr. Hershey’s legacy remains in good financial standing.
The club is member-focused, Malik said, but it also hosts many special events including charity golf tournaments and weddings. The staff uses time management skills to ensure all needs are met and the club runs smoothly.
“Matt and his team plan for a 150-person party every single day,” Brown said.
Finally, the students were reminded of the importance of having fun. The Hershey Country Club staff set-up a special course on the putting green so students could practice their golf skills. Rising fourth-grade student Haven Marko said she enjoyed the experience of learning about the club.
“I think it is beautiful, I especially love the flowers,” Haven said.
The MHS Year-Round Experiences Program offers many program options for students who stay on campus during breaks or the summer. Many Hershey entity partners assist the school by hosting off-campus activities at The Chocolatier, The Sweeterie Confectionery Kitchen, Giant Center, Zoo America, and Hershey Gardens.