Recreation trade group funds kids’ golf initiative
The Ashburn, Va.-based National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has awarded $180,000 in grants to 15 park and recreation agencies in the U.S. to pilot the Starting New at Golf (SNAG) G-Ball program in 2011. One of the goals of SNAG is to connect young people to the outdoors, and increase engagement in golf and other recreational sports.
G-Ball, which is sometimes described as golf’s version of T-Ball, is designed to be a fun entry point for golf, targeted toward children 5 to 6 years old. It falls somewhere between miniature golf and regulation golf, and allows for full shots, pitching, chipping and putting. It is a training program for the entry-level golfer, and helps youngsters get up to speed on golf as a lifelong activity.
The SNAG program focuses on progressive and developmental play in a non-competitive format, and is conducted by parent-coaches in recreation centers, on sports fields and in other public open spaces. SNAG is the skills-acquisition program used in the national schools golf initiative headed by the World Golf Foundation’s First Tee Program. There are 5,000 schools that are introducing children to golf in the U.S. and over 8,000 worldwide.
Grants of cash and SNAG equipment valued at $12,000 each were awarded to the following agencies for 2011:
Glendale, Ariz., Parks and Recreation
Carson, Calif., Parks and Recreation
Manhattan Beach, Calif., Parks and Recreation
Santa Clarita, Calif., Parks, Recreation, and Community Service
Hyland Hills Parks and Recreation, Federal Heights, Colo.
Miami-Dade County, Fla., Park and Recreation
Orange County, Fla., Parks and Recreation
Treasure Island, Fla., Recreation
Indian River County, Fla., Recreation
Lawrence, Kan., Parks and Recreation
Ann Arbor, Mich., Parks and Recreation
Springfield-Greene County, Mo., Parks and Recreation
Roseville, Minn., Parks and Recreation
Los Alamos County, N.M., Recreation
West Allis-West Milwaukee, Wis., Recreation
The agencies will administer programs during this summer, with some agencies offering additional G-Ball opportunities throughout the year. Tahlequah, Okla.-based Player Development Products, LLC made the SNAG G-Ball grant program possible. Plans call for the program to be expanded in 2012 and beyond.
Logan told Govpro.com, “We are looking at doing a similar program for senior citizens who want to learn golf, if we can get funding for it.” She urges agencies that are interested in applying for future SNAG grants to check the NRPA site for details.