Carolinas Golf Magazine

SUMMER 2018

golf, CGA, carolinas, junior, equipment, sport, PGA, LPGA, association, magazine

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"This really resonates with what we are trying to do," says Gene Spencer, CGA President. "Everyone talks about growing the game. This is a program that really does that and keeps data on it. It drives every- thing we want to do at the CGA." The Youth on Course program went live in the Carolinas on March 15 at 50 courses with the goal of significantly increasing the number of participating courses and youngsters. It works this way: The national Youth on Course (youthoncourse.org) office subsidizes rounds of golf for Carolinas youngsters for 18 months while the CGA gets the program off the ground. Youngsters in the program have access to play participating courses for green fees of $5 or less. Youth on Course works directly with courses, arranging tee times and supplementing the green fees to allow young people affordable access, particularly in the summer when they're out of school. The program is now in 24 states with more than 1,000 courses participating. Owen Setters is a nine-year old in Charlotte who has access to three courses – Dr. Charles Sifford Golf Course, Charles T. Myers Golf Course and Sunset Hills Golf Course – for $5 per round. "It's a really good idea to play for $5 and to get kids on the course," Setters says. "I think other kids should do it because it really helps kids practice and get their fundamentals down without paying a lot of money." For youngsters without access to private clubs, the cost barrier is essentially eliminated. "If you have a child that's heavily into tourna- ments like Owen is, it gives us an opportunity for him to go and really practice," says Setters' mother, Tamalyn. "You can go out three times a week without having to spend $35 or $40 for nine holes. "For kids who think golf is too expensive or it's not attainable, it opens a whole new spectrum for people. We would see families who want to play golf but felt it cost quite a bit. Now these courses offer this. It's a 14 | CAROLINAS GOLF | S U M M E R 2 0 1 8 Junior golfers played more than 100,000 rounds through the Youth on Course initiative in 2017, and the program continues to grow nationally. Everyone talks about growing the game. This is a program that really does that and keeps data on it." —CGA President Gene Spencer

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