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weekend day, and I think it always will be.”


The initial exposure to golf for


kids can vary in all kinds of ways. My grandparents were avid players and fans, and that no doubt rubbed off even if I petulantly resisted for a long time. Griffi n and Carter Whiting were in- troduced to the game by their parents, as was Trevin. Dan Burke had three older


NCGA Foundation Executive Director Adam Heieck and daughter Landry


brothers who played, and that helped him get hooked. Burke played at Santa Clara and later became the head pro at Lake Merced Golf Club for more than 15 years. Now he’s the executive director of The First Tee of San Francisco, so he’s always searching for ways to bring young people into the game. Burke embraces The First Tee’s


Poppy Hills Food and Beverage Manager Noelle Rodallegas and daughter Serena


habit of going to schools to expose kids to golf. That opens the game’s doors to a much wider segment of the population. Burke has discov- ered a striking number of kids, no matter their socioeconomic status, become interested in golf once they know more about it. And what grabs those kids? “For one, golf is outdoors,”


Burke says. “There’s an individual component to it. You’re not relying on your coach to put you in right fi eld if you’re not good at it. It’s up to you to get better at the sport, and that individuality appeals to a certain number of kids. “You can get enjoyment from


it, and it’s challenging. You also don’t have to have four other kids to play, or eight other kids. You can ride your bike to the range and do it yourself. I think that’s separated golf from some other traditional sports.” Make no mistake: The First


NCGA Controller Aana Fitzgerald and son A.J.


Tee and NCGA’s Youth on Course program are having a big impact. Trevin joined Youth on Course several years ago and eagerly fi lls out his annual renewal. He memo-


FIVE Ways to Get Your Child Into Golf 1


2 3


4


Start early and make it fun.


Start on a par-3 course so kids can take their time.


Get a 5- or 7-wood. Make it as easy as possible to get the ball airborne.


Kids should never feel like they have to choose a favorite sport. Let golf be one of many options.


5


Enroll your child in Youth on Course! (Visit YouthonCourse.org to register today.)


rably returned home after his fi rst $2 round at Tilden Park in Berkeley to declare, “I paid more for French Fries at the turn than I did for my entire round!” Youth on Course helps combat


one of the most serious obstacles— cost—to getting kids involved in golf. They will fi nd the time and deal with the game’s diffi culty, provided they can afford to play. Scholarships, internships and a caddie program offered by Youth on Course offer other great incentives. Kids shouldn’t feel like they have


to choose their favorite sport. Enjoy as many as you want. Trevin savors the competitiveness and camarade- rie of basketball and baseball, but he also loves the personal challenge and forest-like setting when he joins friends (or Dad) for one of those $2 rounds at Tilden. “It never gets old,” he says. Dad fi nds magic in those


words.


RON KROICHICK covers golf for the San Francisco Chronicle.


SUMMER 2015 / NCGA.ORG / 31


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