After spending countless hours playing disc golf, designing courses, and promoting big time events, Steve Lambert focuses much of his disc golf energy now on those that can barely throw 100 feet.
Through a regular children’s disc golf clinic at a South Carolina school, to building school courses, to running his Charlotte Children’s Championship, Lambert, of Van Wyck, SC, brings the sport to the next generation like no other.
It’s not surprising, he was recently awarded the PDGA/EDGE award for outstanding achievement in disc golf education at this year’s Amateur World Championships. Started in 2001, EDGE (Educational Disc Golf Experience) is a non-profit that introduces disc golf to students by providing disc golf curriculum and equipment packages to schools.
Playing disc golf since the late 1970s’s, Lambert has done it all when it comes to the sport including: designing early Charlotte courses, organizing World Championships, planting the seed for the Am Worlds, being on the PDGA Board, and more. But after years of intense disc golf involvement, the spark he’d once had burned out.
However, once he began teaching kids he immediately regained that spark for the game.
“When that teachable moment happens and you see their eyes get really big – that’s what it’s all about,” said Lambert, who acts as the PDGA Youth Committee chairman.
Years ago when he first brought his daughter to North Elementary School in Lancaster County, he saw it had a disc golf course and soon he was regularly bringing his daughter and her friends to play there. After a while, more and more kids got involved to where it became a regular kids clinic. This spring will mark 1,000 hours that Lambert has volunteered at that school through his clinic.
He said it was his work at North Elementary that led him to organize the Charlotte Children’s Championship so these kids could test their skills in a tournament setting. Now six years into the tournament, he likes what he’s been able to accomplish with several players going on to compete in Am Worlds. One of those is Anthony Anselmo, who won a junior boys division championship this year.
When it comes to his efforts with children, Lambert said he wanted to emphasize that Harold Duvall and Innova Disc Golf have supported him every step of the way. And, the EDGE program has been the engine that has driven him with the courses.
At the USDGC, you can annually see Lambert helping out at the EDGE Village that teaches area schoolchildren disc golf skills and course etiquette. Watching Lambert with kids you can tell he has a natural way dealing with youngsters. He jokes with them and puts them at ease as he teaches the fundamentals of the game. Through Lambert’s efforts the future of disc golf, especially in the Carolinas, will be much stronger.