GAM

GOLF ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN

Golfers Ages 6-18 Play for Just $1 at Michigan Courses on YOUTH ON COURSE DAY, Friday, July 28

  Young golfers,
parents, members of Youth On Course, mark down July 28 and plan to play golf
for $1.

  Yes, just $1.

  The third annual
Youth on Course Day, #YOCDay, is July 28 at golf courses across the country,
including over 60 courses in Michigan through the Golf Association of Michigan
taking on the Youth on Course initiative through its GAM Foundation.

  The goal this year
for the national Youth On Course Day is 1,000 rounds, and Michigan youngsters
can do their part. If you are signed up with Youth On Course, then just make
that tee time at your favorite participating YOC course. Find the list at
gam.org.

  If a youngster
between the ages of 6 and 18 is not yet signed up for Youth on Course, then
click on that tab at gam.org and follow the directions to get involved.
Membership is just $5 for the year and then YOC members play at participating
courses for just $5 per round all through the golf season. Those member courses
get subsidized in Michigan via the GAM Foundation working with Youth on Course.

 On July 28 though, it
is just $1.

 Why Youth on Course?

  Golf teaches
important social, mental and physical skills and each round is filled with
learning potential. Providing youth with access to affordable golf is the core
of what we do.

  The Michigan Golf
Course Alliance has endorsed Youth on Course, a national program that is new to
Michigan this year and allows young golfers to play for $5 or less.

  “Youth on Course
fits with what golf needs right now,” says Carey Mitchelson, President of the
Michigan Turfgrass Foundation and General Manager of College Fields. “We need
to get youth out there. And the kids that do come out and play learn that they
like golf. You just have to let them come out and experience it a little bit.”

  Youth on Course
started in Northern California and is meant to be a “next step” to programs
like The First Tee where youngsters are introduced to the game of golf. Many
kids find the truly love the game but have financial challenges when it comes
to actually getting out onto the links and playing. \

  Registration for
Youth on Course costs just $5 and kids pay $5 or less to play at participating
courses around the state. Golf courses are reimbursed by Youth on Course for
the difference between that $5 the golfer pays and the typical cost of the
junior rate.

  “Golf can be a
challenging game so I think that the earlier that you start it, the more
natural the game becomes,” says Tom Schwark, President of Sycamore Hills Golf
Club and Michigan Golf Course Owners Association Board Member. “Youth on Course
introduces the child to the game of golf and for us that is huge. You are
getting a child outside, getting them out of the house so they are getting
exercise and fresh air. Plus it is in a beautiful environment and it is a fun
game! Those are all positive aspects.”

  Adam Ikamas,
Executive Director of the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association,
says that if he had not had access to golf when he was growing up, he never
would have considered a career as a superintendent. 

  “If my dad had not
taken me out to the golf course so much as a kid, I don’t know what I would be
doing now,” says Ikamas. “I am happy he did that and I think Youth on Course
offers an opportunity for kids that isn’t there now. Golf is a great way to
connect as a family in my opinion. It is a great way to spend time outdoors and
support your local community as well.”

  MGCOA Executive
Director Kate Moore likes what Youth on Course does for the golf industry as
well as Michigan families. Golf is something in which the whole family can
participate which is not always true of other sports.

“So many times mom and dad are sitting on the sideline
watching and this is an opportunity for those parents and grandparents to
participate with the kids,” says Moore. “It is truly a family event.”

  Kevin Helm,
Executive Director of the Michigan PGA agrees: “You introduce kids to the game
but you want them to have the chance to go out and play and develop an
excitement for golf. With Youth on Course, it is such an available resource for
them and for parents to be able to take their kids out on the course and
continue playing.” 

  In addition to golf
skills, Youth on Course can help young people develop social skills, integrity,
and life skills. For parents, those life lessons can be even more important
than learning how to get out of a bunker.

“Get your kids involved because all of the things that come
back to you as a parent are going to be positive,” says Moore. “Your kids are
going to learn social skills, they will be learning relationship skills; it
isn’t just about playing golf. Golf is the great equator. It is a great way to
get kids to relate with both adults and their peers. It is all a win-win!”

  Parents can register
their young golfers for Youth on Course via the Golf Association of Michigan
web site at www.gam.org.
https://gam.org/?YOC&view=register

 

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