Hawaii Junior Golf Day

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Hawaii Junior Golf Day, co-sponsored by the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association and the Aloha Section PGA, was held on Saturday, March 10 and was a huge success.  Over 700 juniors registered online to attend an event at one of the 13 golf courses across the state with many more additional children who “walked on”.

This first-time statewide event was part of a national effort called Golf 2.0, an industry wide initiative designed to grow the game of golf. Over 80% of the juniors who participated were experiencing golf for the very first time! Participants were shown the fundamentals of golf but in addition to swinging clubs, they also got to run, jump and throw balls in activities that emphasized how golf is more than just “hitting a ball with a club into a hole”. The message to children was that a successful golfer needs to be an all-around athlete. Activities were built around the PGA Sports Academy curriculum that stresses well-rounded, age appropriate fitness development for children.  The children also learned the important role that nutrition plays in being physically fit and healthy, and how optimum performance is enhanced by staying hydrated with water during sports activity.

US Kids Clubs provided properly sized golf clubs for each event and SNAG, an acronym for “Starting New at Golf” donated SNAG golf kits to each participating course.  SNAG clubs are made of plastic, feature easy-to-hit oversized club-heads and are shorter to accommodate the juniors. Instead of golf balls, SNAG uses larger tennis-type balls and Velcro targets to make the game fun and simple to learn. Participating golf facilities partnered with local elementary schools to introduce SNAG for consideration of developing a future Golf in Schools program. At the end of the 2-hour clinic, juniors received Certificates of Completion to recognize their participation and effort.

To encourage their child’s continuing interest and participation in golf, parents will receive the “Roadmap to Junior Golf”, a one-stop reference document that contains information from every golf course, junior program and junior association across the state regarding opportunities for their child to learn, play or compete in the game of golf.

The 13 host sites for Hawaii Junior Golf Day were Hawaii Kai Golf Course, Hawaii Prince Golf Course, Ko’olau Golf Club,  Ko Olina Golf Club, and Turtle Bay Golf Course on Oahu. On Kauai, the Makai Golf Club at Princeville and Puakea Golf Course. On Maui, Wailea Emerald/Gold Course, Kaanapali Golf Course, and The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course.  On the Big Island, Mauna Kea Resort – Hapuna Course, Makalei Golf Club, and Hilo Municipal Golf Course.  Due to inclement weather, the Makai Golf Club at Princeville on Kauai postponed their event until Saturday, March 24th.

The Hawaii State Junior Golf Association as well as the Aloha Section PGA have labeled the event a “hole-in-one” success, and plans are in the works to hold the same event at even more locations in 2013.  The success of the event was made possible thanks to Chris Dey, Liquid Planet and Mark Rolfing for the production of the PSA.  A big mahalo to all sponsors: The Hawaii State Junior Golf Association, the Aloha Section PGA, Golf Logo Chip Company, Kraft Foods, SNAG Golf, TaylorMade, U.S Kids Golf, Titleist and Dave and Buster’s.

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