USA: Annual Take Your Daughter to the Course Week - Family Fun on the Greens.
According to the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) July is "Family Golf" month across the country and we are anxious to showcase our recent discoveries about families and golf.
While it is true that family golf vacations remain a well kept secret (at least on the web), in the last few month I have spoken with more than a dozen golf pros in as many states and innovations and adjustments for family golfers are being discussed and in some casses tested. For example: The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
in Florida conducts a complimentary weekly golf clinic; Resort at Squaw Creek
in California has a daily Family Golf Special; even better kids golf for free at Owl's Creek Golf Course
in Virginia Beach. As I learn of opportunities I will showcase them and as always we welcome feedback from the turf. Through our combined effort golf for families need not be a secret anymore.
One terrific idea that has been mentioned before I wish to tout again. Because I golfed with my dad and I have a daughter who has enjoyed pitching and putting with her parents, I am happy to annouce an annual golf opportunity for daughters of dubbers - "Take Your Daughter to the Course Week". The idea is not just restriceted to parents, grandparents may play, but then I guess it would have to be take your granddaughter to golf. Either way the idea is to go golfing with a junior girl or girls and in July it's a deal.
Here's the deal.
And as part of "Family Golf Month" (designated for July) the National Golf Course Owners Association’s has created a "Take Your Daughter to the Course Week" to encourage family bonding over a favorite past time while helping close the gender gap between the number of boys and girls playing the game.
The 11th annual Take Your Daughter to the Course Week (July 5-11, 2010), is among the programs offered under the Play Golf America banner, an industry-wide initiative to increase the number of sport-minded junior girls on the tees and fairways. More than 1,500 golf courses nationwide are expected to participate this year meaning there's bound to be a course nearby and participating facilities offer free greens fees and instructional clinics to junior girls who are accompanied by a paying adult.
“It’s the perfect opportunity for parents to introduce golf to their daughters and to bring the family together for a fun afternoon on the course,” says Mike Hughes, CEO of the NGCOA. “With a good introduction like this, golf can become an important part of the family’s time together.”
Fathers have long brought sons to the course to school them in the game, but recent years have seen an increase in both fathers and mothers bringing daughters along as well.
“There is not a bit of difference between starting a boy and a girl golfing other than perception by parents,” says Suzy Whaley, the teaching professional at the Tournament Players Club at River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. “Many fathers today are bringing their daughters to the course earlier, but there are still too many fathers only bringing sons.”
Boys make up the vast majority (84 percent) of junior golfers while girls are just 16 percent of all golfers between 12 and 17 years of age, according to the National Golf Foundation. NGF statistics also show that seven of 10 junior golfers come from a household where at least one parent plays the game, making mom and dad key links to getting young players involved in the sport.
Courses hosting the event offer a free greens fee to young ladies accompanied by a paying adult all during the week, and at least one free clinic. Many courses will offer additional special promotions. Contact your local participating course to find out what they will be offering. Use this opportunity to take your daughter, granddaughter, or niece to the game. Take Your Daughter to the Course Week hopes to shrink the gender difference while promoting golf as a family activity. Last year, more than 84,000 junior girls and accompanying adults participated in the weeklong event.
Take Your Daughter to the Course week is part of Play Golf America’s Family Golf Month promotion that encourages families to enjoy the game together. For more information, go to www.ngcoa.org
or www.playgolfamerica.com About the NGCOA
The National Golf Course Owners Association is the leading authority on the business of golf course ownership and management. The Association represents the key decision makers with ultimate responsibility for golf courses throughout the world. Through advocacy, information resources, purchasing programs and networking opportunities, the NGCOA helps golf course owners and operators run more successful businesses. Content edited by FTF and images provided by National Golf Course Owners Association. Copyright 2010.