After a long school year, young golfers across Canada have earned some free time on the golf course.
The National Golf Course Owners Association Canada (NGCOA) has teamed up with close to 700 courses across the country to provide free golf for kids under the age of 16 starting on July 3. Nine courses in Central Alberta will offer the program.
The initiative is called “Take a Kid To The Course” and it’s designed as a way to help promote the game at the grassroots level.
River Bend Golf and Recreation Area GM Brian Miller said they’ve been participating in the program for years and it usually draws a big crowd of kids.
He noted they even try and compete with other clubs to see who can get the most kids on the course. Miller added on top of growing the game, it’s a really good way to get the whole family out on the course.
“It’s a program across Canada to develop junior golf and we’re a big part of that with the mini links and driving range. We do a lot of junior lessons here. That’s why we’re part of it,” he said.
“If they bring dad out, the son can play (for free). Or if they brought out mom and dad, daughter and son can play for free. It’s a one adult, one kid type thing. It’s a good program, drives people to the door…We’ve had good numbers in the past.”
River Bend will run the program for kids from ages 9-16, with rounds available from July 3-10. Monday to Thursday are available any time and Friday, Saturday and Sunday after 3 p.m.
Other Central Alberta courses participating in the program include Balmoral Golf Course, Bashaw Golf and Country Club, Gull Lake Golf Course, Lacombe Golf and Country Club, Meadowlands Golf Club at Sylvan Lake, Olds Central Highlands Golf Club, Ponoka Community Golf Club and Red Deer Golf and Country Club. For the full list of courses and what they offer with the program, check out kidsplaygolf.ca.
This year will be the 16th for the program and since its inception, it has helped more than 350,000 golfers an opportunity to golf for free.