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Youth Golf at Twin Cities’ YMCA

January 14, 2015

Pilot Program Leads to Youth Golf Lessons Throughout Metro Area

We may be in the middle of a Minnesota winter, but kids all over the Twin Cities are busy learning toYouth Golf love golf at the YMCA – thanks to a new partnership between the Y and the Minnesota Section PGA that started with a pilot program at the Emma B. Howe YMCA in Coon Rapids last summer. Kathy Swanson, Director of Member Service & Player Development with the Section, worked with the Y’s Healthy Youth Program Director Derek Griffin to get the original youth golf program off the ground, and now it’s turned into a couple kinds of programs at more than a dozen locations.

Demos for Kiddos

“So far this winter, we have hosted youth golf demos at the Coon Rapids, Eagan and Hastings YMCAs,” says Griffin, noting that those three locations have already served more than 50 young golfers, age 6-14. Ten more branches are scheduled to host youth golf demos between now and the end of February.

New Classes For Kids

That is also the launching point for a new class offering – the Minnesota Section PGA Intro to Golf Class, which will be hosted at twelve YMCA metro locations. There are spots for twelve students at each branch, which will include six indoor classes with a PGA Professional and a final seventh class out at the professional’s course. Registration opens January 23, with classes running from the week of February 23 through the week of April 6th. Registration can be found on the YMCA website. You do not need a YMCA membership to participate, but members do get a discount.

How It Began

Swanson talked about the initial Golfzilla events that were held once a month last June, July and August: “For the children’s final field trip, they were bused to Bunker Hills GC for a full tour of the entire golf facility, including the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame.” Head PGA Professional Tim Anderson gave every child a free voucher to come back out and play the Executive Course for free. The program is a great way to grow the game, introducing some kids who had never even been on a golf course before.

In addition to the junior golf program, the Section is also piloting an Active Older Adult golf program at the Emma B. Howe YMCA, in Coon Rapids with free clinics and club fitting for all who sign up. Swanson reports, “It’s been great fun renewing the golf interest and helping the active older adults enjoy their golf game again and have FUN.”

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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