Area golf course officials are making a strong push to get boys and girls involved in the game of golf.
The Franklin County Junior Golf Program is about to begin its second season of operation.
Representatives from four golf facilities throughout Franklin County are helping develop the program.
Participating courses are Wolf Hollow Golf Club, Franklin County Country Club, Meramec Lakes Golf Course and Sullivan Golf Club.
The program is open to boys and girls ages 6-14.
“Last year was an incredible success. There was a lot of enthusiasm from the kids and parents. We’re trying to promote golf in Franklin County, especially to kids,” said Wolf Hollow Golf Club General Manager Doug Warden. “It’s mostly for new golfers. We aren’t seeking kids who play competitively. We want beginners. We’re soft on the rules. We want the kids to enjoy it and be positive about it. It’s easy and affordable.”
Two free clinics will take place to get the program going. A total of 14 instructors will be on hand for the clinics.
The free clinics are scheduled for May 20 at Wolf Hollow and June 3 at Meramec Lakes. Both clinics run from 1-3:30 p.m.
“It’s an open house format. You can come out anytime. We’d like for people to be there at the beginning, but they certainly can stop by anytime during the clinic,” Warden said. “We had a lot of kids make both clinics last year. There will be attendance prizes to the first 100 kids.”
Participants will be introduced to the basics of the game, including etiquette, rules, putting, short game and long game.
“We feel it’s important to cover all these areas of the game so that we can get the juniors excited, give them opportunities to play and create a funding source for the things we want to do,” said Franklin County Country Club PGA Professional Steve Sebastian.
If kids do not have golf equipment, it will be provided at the clinics.
Tournaments will then take place at the four participating courses.
The tournaments are scheduled for June 28 at Wolf Hollow, July 11 at Meramec Lakes, July 19 at Sullivan Golf Club and July 26 at Franklin County Country Club.
“The tournaments are low competition. We don’t want kids who have played in competitive tournaments,” Warden said. “The courses will be modified to make them shorter and all age groups will play nine holes. We also need volunteer scorekeepers to follow the golfers around the course.”
There is a one-time registration fee of $5 per golfer to enter the program. The fee for each tournament is $10 per golfer.
A fundraiser tournament, which will be a four-person scramble, to support the program will be held June 22 at Wolf Hollow at 12:30 p.m.
The fee is $100 per golfer, which includes 18 holes with a cart, beverages, lunch and dinner.
Goals for the program are as follows:
• To create junior players who will grow the demand for the game for the future;
• To create a soft competition giving area juniors a chance to compete on a lesser level than the PGA junior events;
• To create a feeder system for the PGA junior events;
• To offer a competitive junior program close to home;
• To make the program inexpensive; and
• To recognize and honor junior players in the area.
“Meramec Lakes is very excited to be a part of this initiative to promote the game of golf to young people in the Franklin County area at an affordable price,” said Meramec Lakes PGA Professional Scott Brauer. “We hope that with this program, many new faces will learn to enjoy the game that we love. It’s also great to see courses working together to help young people get a start in this game.”
For details or sponsorship information, contact Wolf Hollow Golf Club at 636-390-8100, Franklin County Country Club at 636-239-6678, Meramec Lakes Golf Course at 636-629-0900 or Sullivan Golf Club at 573-468-5803.
Additional details can be found at www.fcjuniorgolf.org.