Wadsworth Golf Foundation Gives Big Boost to New Junior Course in Missouri

The Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation has announced it is giving $250,000 to assist in the development of a Tom Watson-designed junior golf course in northwest Missouri targeting youths and beginning golfers.

The project details were unveiled in October. At that time, the St. Joseph News Press reported that Kansas City, Mo., native Watson would be designing a golf course for juniors in Maryville, Mo.

The layout, which will allow kids to improve their golf skills, will be built on prairie land in Nodaway County just north of the Mozingo Golf Course clubhouse.

The project is the brainchild of local dentist Dr. Bruce Twaddle, who was inspired to pursue a children's course after visiting Scotland before the 2011 British Open. His caddie noted a group of young kids playing on a shorter course.

The partnership with the foundation will provide discounted resources for construction of the course. The estimated cost of the project is $521,000, and the Wadsworth contribution raises the current amount raised to $415,000.

An associate with Watson's design company, Bob Gibbons, has routed the nine-hole layout. Gibbons has prior experience with short courses, having designed one at Swope Park in Kansas City and four others on the East Coast.

"This golf course is short by normal standards," Watson told St. Joseph News Press reporter Bryce Mereness in October. "This course is designed for beginners, for kids or anybody, really, to play the game where you aren't forced to play 400-yard par-4s or 500-yard par-5s or 180-yard par-3s - things that are manageable for beginning golfers.

Work on the course is expected to start next year and, if all goes well, it will open sometime in 2015.

The donation is part of the Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation's "Links Across America" initiative, which was established to create "feeder" short courses for young people, families, beginners and people with disabilities.