July is Family Golf Month. This program is inspired and promoted by “Play Golf America,” an organization/online resource launched by the PGA of America that encourages growth of the game with the support of allied associations, including the LPGA, the National Golf Course Owner’s Association, the PGA Tour and the USGA. Participating facilities can be found online at http://playgolfamerica.com.
The goal is to encourage families to play golf together and bring new family members of any age to the course. Within the general theme of golf for the entire family, there are two specific promotions: Take Your Daughter to the Course Week and a Bring your Kids to the Range Program.
“Take Your Daughter to the Course Week” is a feature that is close to my heart. This second week of July (July 8-12) golf courses will host playing opportunities and free clinics for young ladies across the country.
Locally, the Alta Sierra Country Club is offering free greens fees for daughters under the age of 17, when accompanied by a paying parent or guardian. Starting times are available in the afternoons by calling the Pro Shop at 530-273-2010. Also, the club will host a complimentary golf clinic for daughters on a Saturday morning. Please call the pro shop to sign up.
Getting juniors involved in golf is a must. The game has not grown (number of rounds) for several years. Even though the television ratings are going up (thank you, Mr. Woods), the number of rounds has remained essentially static (about 26 million) for more than a decade. This is not gloom; it is simply an encouragement to get young people involved.
Not only is it good for the game, but it is great for the junior. Children seem to become better adults because of the game and what it teaches. Words like honor and integrity are part of the culture, and you have to work hard to improve. Nothing is handed to you.
We have seen countless kids from our junior programs go on to be exceptional adults — teachers, law enforcement, military officers, journalists, even PGA Tour players. They often return to the course seasonally as role models, good examples for our youngsters involved in summer junior programs.
So give the local courses a call, collect your youngster and head to the driving range and/or play some golf. You will have the opportunity to smell some fresh air, get some exercise and have some fun with your child. Who knows, you may actually get them to talk for a few hours.
John Renslow is general manager and director of golf at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.