Golf Course Management

JUL 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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50 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.14 Beaches to support its program that teaches life skills and leadership through golf to children, adults with disabilities and area veterans. The luxury oceanfront resort oversees the agronom - ics of The First Tee program, built on a site at Dyer Park that previously was a dump. Director of golf and grounds Mark Reid and his team at The Breakers each contributes an annual allocation of 16 hours of volunteer time off for the organization, using their skills to per - form tasks ranging from general maintenance to aerifcation, sod preparation and installation. "We are delighted to have such an amaz - ing relationship with The First Tee The Palm Beaches," says Reid, a 19-year GCSAA mem - ber. "While they are technically the benefcia- ries of our volunteer work, it has been so re- warding for us to participate. We're not just helping grow golf; the kids are learning core values and how to be good citizens. If we don't get involved with youth golf in ways such as this, where is our industry going to be? We've all got to look outside the box a little bit to fnd unique but important ways to get involved in our communities." At Val Halla Golf and Recreation Center in Cumberland, Maine, more than 600 youths and adults annually participate in grow-the- game programs, including Wine and Nine for the adults. Val Halla GCSAA Class A superin - tendent Toby Young and his crew are "totally involved," he says. They have to be at certain "We're not just helping grow golf; the kids are learning core values and how to be good citizens. If we don't get involved with youth golf in ways such as this, where is our industry going to be?" — Mark Reid wedge and putter to use. For $10, you play." Their program is paying dividends. "Our play probably has tripled," says El - liott, a 27-year member of GCSAA. "We have got a lot of stories of people completely hooked who had never wanted to be on a golf course." Elliott gains satisfaction that he is able to make a difference. "If we as superintendents can't do it, the in - dustry is in trouble," he says. Based on numbers, grow-the-game initia - tives make a solid impact. • More than 9 million youngsters have participated in The First Tee since its inception in 1997. Recently, it started an after-school program in partnership with other youth-serving organizations. • Get Golf Ready, which consists of a fve-les - son plan with golf clubs included for $99, reached more than 86,000 participants last year; that's a 13 percent increase from 2012. • PGA Junior League Golf witnessed a whop - ping 490 percent growth from 2012 (1,500 youths) to 2013 (8,900). Already this year, the number of participants has grown to 18,000. • Drive, Chip and Putt competition ex - panded from 11 PGA sections and 19 states in 2013 to 41 sections and all 50 states this year. In Florida, The Breakers Palm Beach has partnered with The First Tee The Palm A fvesome getting their kicks. FootGolf co-founder Roberto Balestrini says by year's end there may be 500 courses in America that offer FootGolf. Photo by Andy Lundberg 044-055_July14_FootGolf.indd 50 6/17/14 2:36 PM

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