School is letting out and soon kids will be filling swimming pools and baseball fields across the region. This is also a great time for our kids to try their hand at golf.
Getting a child involved in golf can be difficult sometimes. Costs associated with equipment, limited access to some of the top golf instructors and programs and the perception that golf is a game played alone can all negatively impact the chances of getting a youngster to try the sport.
Over the past several years, golf’s leaders in the PGA of America, United States Golf Association and various other “grow the game” programs are trying to remove those perceived barriers. But even then, what should a parent be looking for a junior golf program? What kind of program will improve the chances of their child falling in love with the game?
Mike Weirch, PGA Professional at Wolf Hollow Golf Club in Washington, MO offers one of the area’s premier junior programs. Weirich and his staff at Wolf Hollow Golf Club are careful to offer a variety of different programs in an effort to accommodate varying schedules, skill and interest levels.
Weirich’s club, Wolf Hollow is part of the larger Franklin County Junior Golf Program that includes neighboring courses like Franklin County Country Club, Meramec Lakes and Sullivan Country Club. Together, these facilities and their golf professionals are attempting to make getting exposed to the game extremely easy for kids.
Hosting a series of FREE clinics, the first of which takes place on June 8th at Wolf Hollow Golf Club, these three clubs are open to all kids ages 6-14. Participants are introduced to the basics of the game including, etiquette, rules, putting, short game and long game. The clinic features area golf professionals and top amateurs from around the area allowing the kids to receive one-on-one training throughout the session. Most importantly, if the child doesn’t have equipment, clubs will be provided to the child for use during the clinic.
Statistics from the National Golf Course Owners Association support the important of getting kids involved in the game early. Research has shown that adults 19-34 who were introduced to golf through a structured junior golf program are playing 50% more rounds and spend 70% more on golf than those adults not exposed to a junior program but playing the game today. In addition, 6 out of 10 children in a structured junior golf program will become avid adult golfers – in other words, life-long customers.
A key component to a successful junior program is making sure the format of the program provides for a fun environment for the kids. Weirich acknowledges the importance of creating an environment where kids learn the game with their friends. “Kids enjoy being on a team and sharing their experience with buddies,” says Weirich. “It’s important we create a program that accommodates the busy schedules of the kids while also allowing for a social component so the kids can enjoy each other’s company while learning the game.”
To find more information on the FREE clinics being offered through the Franklin County Junior Golf Program go HERE.
To learn more about the varying Junior golf opportunities at Wolf Hollow Golf Club, go HERE.