Saturday, February 11, 2017 – Youth on Course was featured on the Golf Channel Morning Drive when travel expert – Matt Ginella talked Youth on Course and Pebble Beach.
Watch the clip, or read the transcript below.
Watch the clip
Hosts: Jeff and I are going to be joined now by the golf advisor phone line by our travel expert Matt Ginella who’s made his way to the Monterey Peninsula. Immediately got down to that tap room where I’m sure it was lively. Good morning, how are you Matt?
Matt Ginella: I’m doing great, you know in Orlando yesterday. I clicked my heels, I said there’s no place like home and I woke up at Pebble Beach, so there you go.
Hosts: That’s a very good thing. Now you’re out there for a very good cause and specifically you know Poppy Hills was kind of a blithe on the resume of 17 mile drives resume of golf courses – not anymore but more importantly they’re doing something that you think is a great initiative. Explain that to the viewers.
Matt: Well, Poppy Hills is the home of the Northern California Golf Association and the Northern California Golf Association has spearheaded the grow the game initiative they call Youth on Course – they started in 2006. I’ve reported on this initiative for quite some time now. It’s one of my favorites. I think it’s one of the most effective and impactful grow the game initiatives that we have. I think First Tee is obviously great. We know about the PGA junior league, which is great. The Drive, Chip, and Putt is awesome, aspirational concept that is bringing kids to the game. But at the end of the day, kids need a place to play. You can have all those initiatives, but at the end of the day, they need to go out and play golf somewhere, and when they go to play golf, the average junior green fee is upwards of $18 to $25 and that’s a lot more than what we used to pay when we were kids. What Youth on Course does is subsidize those junior green fees so that kids will pay no more than $5 to play the game of golf – and then Northern California [Youth on Course] goes back and pays the golf courses the difference between $5 and whatever they typically charge for a junior green fee. And then they’ve layered in all these other great concepts like Caddie Academy, college scholarships, high school internships layered into Youth on Course. You take some of the best initiatives like Evans Scholarships Solich Caddie Academy, and all that we’re talking about and you fold it into one – this is Youth on Course. I’m really honored to be hosting an event here tonight at Poppy Hills on behalf of Youth on Course.
Hosts: Well, all of that is terrific. We were just showing some of the bullet points of what they do and also, as you just pointed out, some of the things they’re providing. When you’re talking about millions of dollars in college scholarship money, that’s impacting lives way beyond the adolescent years. Let me ask you this, how are they identifying kids and how are they recruiting kids to be a part of this program?
Matt: Well, you know they have a great team, led by Adam Heieck. This is literally in the base, not the basement, sort of the sub floor of Poppy Hills. This whole program is run out of Poppy Hills and Adam Heieck and his team have done a great job of not only spreading this around Northern California Golf Association – and you know back in 2004 only 2% of their 146,000 members were junior golfers. Now, you can say that there’s 10% percent of that membership that are now junior members. So now that’s almost 15,000 kids that are now members in the Northern California Golf Association. What they are now doing is spreading the word to other golf associations. 14 different associations around the country are now participating in what is Youth on Course. The NCGA [Youth on Course] goes in and actually helps them start the program – helps them subsidize the program for the first 18 – 24 months. I mean, this is something that is now spread, like I said, to 14 different – and their goal is to go national. They wanna do that within the next three years and I think they have a really great shot at doing it.
Special thanks to Matt Ginella of The Golf Channel for his continued support of Youth on Course.