Recognizing chapter community involvement
The Northeastern Golf Course Superintendents Association hosted its Tenth Annual Junior Tournament on August 28, 2003 at the Town of Guilderland's Western Turnpike Golf Course. The Town of Guilderland donated the golf, and Art Szatkowski provided the trophies and lunch for the juniors. Money raised from the event has gone to an individual child raising funds for transplant surgery, Make - A - Wish of Northeastern New York, the Recovery Fund for September 11th and most recently to the Ronald McDonald House in Albany, NY.
Over seventy juniors participated in a full day of activities, which began with a clinic before the actual tournament. What is unique about this clinic is that fact that there are no golf tips or lessons given. Instead, a group of NEGCSA members go over some of the day to day duties of a golf course superintendent and how they relate to the individual player. The juniors are shown how a hole location is selected and changed. They are also given ball mark tools and shown the proper technique to repair the damage. This year during the exercise on proper bunker raking, the juniors were amazed when Rob Bigley, CGCS of Pine Haven CC holed out his shot from the sand. Bigley, who has been key to the success of the program since the beginning, says that whatever we as superintendents can do to promote our profession to the next generation of influential golfers is well worth the time away that we take from our courses.
The cost of the day's events was only $10.00, and all of the proceeds from the juniors are then donated to a local charity that is specifically linked to kids. The first several events were free to any junior golfer in the area, but a mother of one of the juniors suggested that perhaps we should charge a small fee so that kids do not have everything handed to them. Not wanting to make money off the event, the NEGCSA decided to take a "Kids Helping Kids" approach. The NEGCSA is proud of what it has been doing for junior golf in the Capital District of New York over the past ten years, and is equally proud of the little bit that is returned to the community each year.
Submitted by John A Risler, CGCS.
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