'Sticks for Kids' Program to Expand

Even more youth across the country and China are about to be introduced to the game of golf thanks to the "Sticks for Kids" program sponsored by the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) Foundation.

The program will expand in 2010 to reach more children. One hundred programs will be added in the United States this year, totaling 508 programs in all 50 states and 10 military bases. In partnership with Forward Management Group, an International GCBAA Member, the recently created China program will expand by another 30 programs, bringing that country to 120 programs in 30 cities.

"The Sticks for Kids program is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate. We are reaching out to a record number of youth that otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to learn the game of golf," said Bill Kubly, Foundation president. "The growth that we've seen in the United States and especially China shows the strength and versatility of the program. Not only are the Sticks for Kids programs beneficial for the youth who participate, they also help the communities involved as well as the sport."

Sticks for Kids is designed to provide golf instruction to children ages 6 to 15. The program gives youth the opportunity to learn golf fundamentals such as stance, gripping, pitching, chipping, putting and swinging. Participants also learn golf safety, etiquette, integrity and discipline. Along with these golf elements, children also learn to be environmental stewards through GCBAA's partnership with Project EverGreen and Audubon International.

Paul Foley, GCBAA executive director, said the program is anticipated to grow a minimum of 100 locations a year for the foreseeable future, thanks to a partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association. Each hosting program receives 10 sets of donated golf clubs with bags for the children to use on site.

To learn more about the GCBAA Foundation or to make a donation, contact the GCBAA at 402/476-4444 or visit www.gcbaa.org and click on the Foundation page.