September 2009

From the President
President Michael F. Adams on student life
Cover Story
Bridging a divide
Feature Stories
Hula Hoops, bubbles and plate tectonics
Leading by example
Closeups
Clicking into UGA
The expanded Tate Center
Around the Arch
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Homicidal poisonings on the rise
Students spend a year on world’s longest book
Historic past unearthed
Med ed
Full bloom
No fish tales here
Autism education program expands
Putting the heat on high school sports
Kudos to Kupets
Nationwide Tour comes to UGA golf course
Arch news
UGA presence in the high court
Stimulus money funds curator
The day the music died
New Dawgs get taste of service learning
Former alumni relations director dies
Accreditation for Public Health
Fundraising record set
Researching PTSD and drug abuse
Lab rats and episodic memory
Can’t see the campus….for the trees
Going green with steam
Dormant fountains flow again
Picture this!
Stay connected with UGA
A decade old and going strong
Grass that thrives in sun and shade
Arch Partnership wins award
Tiny salamander makes a big splash
Alumni News & Events
Alumni Association Calendar
Alumni Profiles
Legal beagle?
All in the family
She rules the schools
Class Notes
Class Notes
Grad Notes
Obituaries
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In memory of Cayle Bywater
Ex-pat expert
Sweet Lantana
Arch trustee oversees public health interns in New York
Full of beans
Victor Profis
UGA law grad appointed to 11th Circuit Court
Atlanta alumni get new digs
Letter from Alumni Association President Vic Sullivan
Why I give
Back Page
Paige Carmichael

Full of beans

Former UGA golfer and head golf coach Beans Kelly has traded the turf for the surf

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Full of beans

Beans Kelly helps one of her campers reel in a catch from the surf off of North Litchfield Beach, S.C.

Photo by: Kelly Simmons

Beans Kelly holds the small stingray up for her campers—ages 6 to 11—to observe.

“That’s what killed the Crocodile Hunter,” Kelly (BSEd ’90) tells them as they stare fascinated. “Only that one was much bigger.”

She deftly unhooks the ray from the line and tosses it back into the surf off North Litchfield Beach, S.C. The youngsters check their own lines, re-bait and cast back out.

By noon, all but one will have caught something, most of them small whiting that can be seen jumping in the waves just off shore.

It’s a different venue for Kelly, a former UGA women’s golf coach who has spent the past decade teaching kids to play golf. Her mission is the same—to get children outdoors and teach them an activity they can enjoy the rest of their lives.

“I get kids to realize the resources available to them, really at very little cost,” Kelly says. “You can buy a fishing pole for $25 and can fish anywhere for free until you’re 16. After that you can get a fishing license for very little money.”

Over the week, Kelly—whose real name is Eileen, but has been called Beans since she was 2— shows the children, most of them from the nearby communities, how to dig up sand fleas to use as bait, cast a fishing line, and how to reel in the big one. The also spend a morning on a pier in Murrell’s Inlet trolling for blue crabs in the murky water below. She even shows them how to clean and prepare the fish so that they can take them home and eat them.

Many of the fish and crabs caught are tossed back—too small to legally be kept for food. Other things they catch that won’t be used as food, like the stingray, also are set free. Kelly emphasizes the need to protect the ocean and its delicate ecosystems.

Kelly is all smiles during the 1999 Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the UGA Golf Course, which Georgia won. Photo by UGA Sports Communications.

The idea for the camps arose last winter, when Kelly was looking for a change in her life. She moved to North Litchfield Beach in 2005 to work at a golf school, which has since gone out of business. After that, she began her own golf instruction business, but that took a hit when the economy turned south.

“I did a lot of soul searching,” she says. A friend and former adviser of Kelly’s from her days at UGA encouraged her to capitalize on the love of fishing she developed as a child on the Maryland coast. She launched Beans@TheBeach LLC earlier this year, advertising “beach concierge services” for vacationers and lining up nine weeks of summer camps for kids. She plans to offer an after-school program for children this fall.

“I guess I’m always a coach,“ she says. “I just changed my venue.”

Kelly played golf at UGA from 1981 to 1983, leaving without her degree to play professionally. After two years on the pro circuit, she returned to Georgia as an assistant pro at an Atlanta golf course. In 1986, she was approached by UGA to consider the position as head coach. There was one catch: She had to finish her degree while she was here. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1990 and stayed on to coach women’s golf until 2000.

As big a part of her life as golf has been, Kelly admits she prefers to fish.

“Right now, if you gave me a choice to go play Augusta (National) or go fishing,” she says. “I’d go fishing.”