As I write this blog, more than 700 young golfers are registered for Youth on Course in the state of Michigan. We hope that this great, national program that allows its members to play golf for $5 or less at participating courses grows by leaps and bounds in the coming years. It is a great thing to get more kids out onto the golf course.
When I was a kid, my dad introduced me to golf. First, we hit whiffle balls in the back yard and then graduated to the putt-putt course, the driving range and finally the neighborhood par-3 golf course. The course was very kid and family friendly and golf became a fun thing to do with my friends as well as a great way to spend time with my dad. The little golf course clubhouse was located in close proximity to the 7-11 so a post – golf Slurpee was typically on the agenda. I don’t recall that any of us really cared about our score so much as just enjoying being outside having fun.
My mom did not share my dad’s love for golf. She supported his commitment to the game and loved to hear him tell his golf tales after a good round, but she never picked up a club herself. Baseball was her passion and she started taking me to the old Tiger Stadium at a young age in the same way my papaw had taken her as a child. These were the days before children’s sports were quite as organized as they are today so there were many a summer afternoon that I met with my friends at the school yard to play some pickup baseball. We would all pretend to be our favorite Tiger (I was always Bill Freehan) and after the game we would go to someone’s house for Kool-Aid and cookies.
In a way, not much has changed since then. I still love both golf and baseball and spend a good amount of time both on the fairway and at the ballpark.
So I’m super excited that on June 17th, two of the things I love the most are going to come together at Comerica Park when the Detroit Tigers meet the Tampa Bay Rays. No, we are not going to set up a putting green in right field but that particular Tigers game has been designated as “Golf Lovers Night”. Fans who purchase a “Golf Lovers” tickets will receive a special Detroit Tigers ball marker and $5 of the ticket price will go to Youth on Course to help support all of the young, Michigan golfers that have signed up for the program.
I know not everyone is as lucky as I was growing up to have a golf course close by that was open to having kids play there and was affordable. But Youth on Course gives every young golfer that opportunity because rounds cost $5 or in some cases less than $5. If you can come down to the ballpark and enjoy some Tiger baseball on a Saturday afternoon and at the same time, help enable some budding golfers to get out onto the course and develop their passion, why not do it?
I’m going to be there along with many of my GAM colleagues. We would love to hang out with you at Comerica on June 17! Here’s how to buy tickets: http://m.mlb.com/tigers/tickets/special-events/golf