The Kids Golf Foundation is a statewide non for profit organization that offers valuable resources, unique special events and activities, and funding for Hook A Kid On Golf organizations and their program participants. In 1998 when the Foundation was established, there were 11 Hook A Kid On Golf program sites. At its peak in 2003, the Foundation helped to increase that number to over 100.
“Our Foundation has grown over the years in scope and size,” said Holly Alcala, Director of the Kids Golf Foundation. “We are pleased that junior golf administrators look to us for support, advice and resources.”
Hook A Kid On Golf Site Coordinators receive a variety of forms of support from the Foundation year-round. A step by step program manual, training sessions, conference calls, site visits, and more are offered to each organization. Golf Training Boards, Junior Golf Illustrations, Business Skill and Life Skills Posters are just some of the print resources Coordinators can use in conjunction with their programs. With either words or pictures, each resource paints a picture so participants can easily visualize a lesson or skill.
A Site Coordinator who often utilizes these resources both indoors and outdoors is Pam Tyska, Coordinator for Northern Illinois University. She says, “I think the Life Skills Posters provided a wonderful variety of tools for us to use.” The Life Skills Posters and other resources are available to program sites free of charge.
A special login section on the Foundation’s website is also available for Site Coordinators to download important documents such as order forms, grant applications, scholarship and fundraising information, and much more. The Foundation stays in touch with Coordinators via a monthly newsletter and periodic email blasts; Hook A Kid On Golf participants as well as their parents and guardians are encouraged to sign-up on the Foundation’s website to receive important updates on special events, volunteer opportunities, and junior golf news.
Hook A Kid On Golf participants that have completed a Tee Level Clinic, Green Level Training Program, or Challenge Golf League have the opportunity to participate in a variety of events and activities year-round hosted by the Foundation. Such events stress the importance of life skills such as networking, mentoring, and teambuilding.
One of these events, now in its sixth year, is Thinking Outside The Tee Box. This event pairs a female business professional with a young female participant between the ages of 11 and 18 in a 9-hole golf scramble and mentoring activity. Kids learn the importance of golf in the business world, as they receive lasting career advice. The boys counterpart event is called Other Side Of The Green.
“We are very lucky in Illinois because we have a state foundation that has offered a number of additional opportunities for those children interested in the game to continue,” said Gene Petty, Site Coordinator for Peoria Park District who has been involved with Hook A Kid On Golf programming for 17 years.
Coordinators like Gene have attended training sessions hosted by the Foundation that offer unique learning experiences and new ways to get kids excited about golf. Two sessions held this year for the first time were a Caddie Training and Information Session and Swing Analysis Training Session; a College Golf Information Session is on the agenda for 2010.
In addition to providing resources and special events and activities, grants are also available to support local programs who may not have the financial resources to support junior golf. Since 1998 over $1,000,000 has been given to organizations in support of junior golf. The Kids Golf Foundation also makes its possible for several program sites to participate every year in the Traditions of Golf Challenge and has provided over $152,000 of support towards the event since 1999.
Looking to further impact kids’ lives through golf, the Foundation remains a junior golf resource year-round for Hook A Kid On Golf program participants, their parents and guardians, and Site Coordinators. Please call the Foundation at (630) 466-0913 today to learn more!