While signups for our current 2016 events have been going strong, I wanted to update you on some exciting things happening with the KJGA. You may or may not know that we obtained 501(c)(3) non-profit status late last year and renamed ourselves to Kalamazoo Junior Golf Association. We’ve also been hard at work for well over a year to bring new programming to Kalamazoo and have been patiently waiting to break the news.
That time has finally come!
While our current blend of instruction and tournaments will remain unchanged, The First Tee LINK will allow us to reach even more youth. The First Tee LINK is a product of The First Tee, a national non-profit whose mission is to “impact the lives of young people by providing education programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” We have four Level 1 certified coaches ready to deliver The First Tee Nine Core Values of Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, and Judgment. The First Tee LINK is a life skills program with golf being the vehicle used to deliver the message.
Who is eligible for The First Tee LINK? Eventually, we expect all of our instructional programs to incorporate The First Tee ideals, but for this first season, the program will be open primarily to young people ages 7-10, but older youth can apply. This is a pilot program for Kalamazoo and we want to make sure we provide as positive an experience as possible for participants. We currently have four sessions scheduled with a target of 15-20 kids per session. Based on demand and fundraising, we may add two more sessions later this summer in August.
My child is in the age range, should I sign up for KJGA instructional or The First Tee LINK? KJGA Instructional is a great value and will continue to be focused on learning about golf. The cost for the 9-week KJGA program is $60 which combines basic instruction with on-course playing experience. The First Tee LINK program is different. Each session will meet for 90 minutes twice a week for three weeks and will focus on a combination of one or more Core Values along with learning more about golf through a variety of fun, interactive, hands-on experiences. The First Tee LINK has certification levels similar to scouting, and participants will have the opportunity to pass specific golf skills in addition to Core Values and Healthy Habits to advance to the next level. The First Tee LINK offers a student to instructor ratio of 6 to 1 or better, allowing for more individualized attention. Cost per session will be $90. We’d love to see kids in both programs! If you just want an introduction to golf only, sign up for KJGA. If you’re interested in Core Values, Healthy Habits, and golf – sign up for The First Tee LINK. Undecided? You can always sign up for both programs!
How can I find out more information about both programs? Come to our open house on Sunday, June 5th from 3-5pm at Red Arrow! Our full staff will be there to answer questions and we will have interactive stations set-up for the kids to make it a fun afternoon. You can sign up on the spot!
Sounds like a great program. Can I help? Yes! We would love to have volunteers to help with our program. Contact Bob Bales at firstname.lastname@example.org more information on volunteering. More importantly, we want to be able to deliver the program to all kids, regardless of background, so we will be offering scholarships to those in need. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated! Visit our website www.kalamazoojuniorgolf.org and click on the “donate now” button to help.
Mark Your Calendars
KJGA has some important events we don’t want you to miss:
Sunday, June 5th from 3-5pm, open house at Red Arrow Golf Course
Learn about all of our programs offered, including The First Tee LINK and sign up on the spot!
Monday, June 20th, The Growlers support KJGA
Mention you support Junior Golf when you come to the baseball game and The Growlers will donate half of all ticket sales to the KJGA
Friday, July 29th, Support Red Arrow GC/KJGA golf benefit at Milham Park Golf Club
The Moors Golf Club will host a Drive Chip & Putt qualifier on June 23, 2016. Click here to learn more about this fantastic opportunity to spend a Sunday afternoon at Augusta National.
PGA Junior League Golf
You’ve heard of Little League… You’ve heard of AYSO soccer… Now it’s time for golf to have a nationally organized team program!
The PGA Junior League Golf is designed to bring a “Little League” atmosphere to the game of golf. Teams of boys and girls of all abilities, age 9-13, will compete in a structured league environment with a chance to advance to post-season and All-Star teams. Each participant will receive a team jersey, golf balls, bag tag, and compete in 4-6 competitions.
Milham Park is one of many area courses hosting a team this summer. Visithttp://www.pgajlg.com to learn more about the program.