Connect Kids with the Game
Golf isn’t the most accessible sport for any child or teenager, let alone kids from underprivileged communities. It’s unfortunate, because golf fosters fitness, athletic and life skills. But there is good news: Programs exist to connect kids with the game, and you can help.
Across the country, programs both large and small offer youth opportunities for course access, equipment, instruction and even life skills. Many of these programs rely on volunteer and donor support. Without these programs, many youth would never step onto the course.
Two of the largest programs are The First Tee and Sticks for Kids. The First Tee has nearly 200 chapters operating in 750 locations. It also runs the National School Program, which teaches golf and life skills in more than 4,000 elementary schools nationwide. Sticks for Kids, run by the Golf Course Builders Association of America, not only teaches golf and life skills, but also environmental awareness. It has 500 programs in 50 states, plus 10 at international military bases.
Many communities also have local programs like Detroit’s Midnight Golf Program, which provides golf instruction to underprivileged youth and teaches life skills, including financial literacy, college preparation and community activism.
These programs are not just a place to go after school; they build character, golf skills and academic skills. After a study of its participants, the First Tee saw improved grades, communication skills and morals. Additionally, more than half of its former participants still played golf after the program. Of the 425 participants who completed the Midnight Golf Program, 351 were admitted to college.
Golf may be just a game to you, but it may be a life changing opportunity for a young person. Getting involved in youth golf and low-income programs as a volunteer or donor is great way to strengthen your golf club and your community.