Carolinas Golf Magazine


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Page 13 of 43

• • • PGA Tour player Harold Varner, III has always trum- peted the challenges of getting young people involved in golf. Varner learned the game playing at a daily fee course in Gastonia, N.C., landed a scholar- ship to East Carolina and wound up on the PGA Tour – and it wasn't solely because Varner had talent. Varner has stated the key to his development was having access to a course as a youngster, giving him the chance to fully fall in love with the game and spend the time necessary to hone his skills. The ongoing mission to increase opportunities for young players has led the CGA to partner with the Carolinas PGA, South Carolina Golf Association and the Women's South Carolina Golf Association to dive into this new program. Youth on Course is a national organization that essentially funds green fees for youngsters ages 6 to 18. 12 | CAROLINAS GOLF | S U M M E R 2 0 1 8 C OV E R S TO RY Youth Movement How the CGA and Youth on Course are bringing more young people to the game BY RON GREEN JR. Illustration by Brad Walker I t's no secret that golf faces a number of challenges as it seeks to grow and thrive in a changing environment. Among the primary areas of concern is cultivating the next generation of golfers, many of whom stay away because of the perceived high cost and a lack of access. That is changing in the Carolinas and across the country through a program called Youth on Course, which provides $5 green fees for youngsters at hundreds of courses. Through this new program, the Carolinas Golf Association hopes to provide more playing opportu- nities for more young people – and early indications suggest the program is already a hit.

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