One of the major benefits of having a Youth on Course membership is being able to play a YOC round across state (and country!) lines. Currently, our members have access to play golf for $5 or less at over 1,260 participating courses in the U.S. and Canada.
YOC member Owen Randolph knows this benefit first-hand, as most of his YOC rounds have been played nearly 3,000 miles away from where he lives in Westhampton, Massachusetts.
Owen has been traveling with his family to Northern California every year since he was a kid to visit his grandparents. He has so many fond memories of these trips.
“I love my grandparents. We all have a really good relationship and bond with them. They always take us out to the Elephant Bar in San Francisco. It’s right on the water and has a good view of the airport. When we were younger we were super into airplanes, and we would watch the airplanes with my Grandfather. Whenever we’re there it’s nostalgic, thinking back on all those times with my grandpa telling us about the airplanes.”
When Owen was about 14 years old, he and his brother Nick were really getting into golf. They did some research to see where they could play during one of their family trips to Northern California, and they came across Half Moon Bay Golf Links. They gave them a call to inquire about junior rates and the pro shop mentioned Youth on Course – Owen said it “almost doesn’t even seem real!”. The two were eager to sign up, and though YOC hadn’t yet expanded to Massachusetts at this time, they were able to use their grandfather’s address in California [where they stay on their visits] to become members!
“When we found out we could play Half Moon Bay for $5 through Youth on Course, we did some more research and before we knew it we found out we could play more amazing courses on our trip for $5 or less! It’s been unreal because we really wouldn’t have been able to play any course in the area, really. Youth on Course is letting kids who maybe wouldn’t be able to play, getting them out there not only to courses, but super nice courses. We feel fortunate to be able to play these courses.”
In addition to Half Moon Bay, some of Owen’s favorite courses that he’s played for $5 or less include Spanish Bay, Poppy Hills (YOC headquarters!), and Bayonet & Black Horse.
“Playing the Old Course at Half Moon Bay and seeing the 18th hole finish and being overwhelmed with the view – that was unbelievable. Another time, it was just me and my brother out on the course because it was 40mph winds and an absolute downpour, but we wanted to play anyway because it’s such a nice course. At Bayonet & Black Horse one time we walked 54 holes in a day and it was absolutely pitch black for the last 9 holes but, we wanted to keep playing!”
Owen says that his experience with YOC, being able to play at nice courses as a junior golfer, has shown him the respect that the game of golf has. For him, it starts in the pro shop.
“Being treated the same as everyone else is great at the golf course. You never know if the pro shop will look at you differently since you’re a junior only paying $5 – but they still treat you with respect. You bring that into the real world and show people respect and treat people as well as you would in golf.”
He’s also been deeply impacted by the positive interactions he’s had with adults he and his brother have been paired up with during YOC rounds.
“Everyone we’ve ever been paired up with with has ended up being the nicest person, and respectful despite the fact that we’re young. It’s grown my etiquette not only for golf, but for showing respect to adults and being well behaved. It’s made me more mature playing with people I don’t know. The relationships that you make through golf – it’s unbelievable. You learn through people.”
Owen is now in his first year of college, studying business, and he thinks that his experiences playing golf through Youth on Course have prepared him well for the “real world”.
“Golf teaches me life lessons. Everything is not always going to go your way. You never really know what you’re going to learn on the golf course, but there is always something to learn. Learning about yourself and someone else. The relationships that you make through golf – it’s unbelievable. You learn through people, too. Who knows, maybe I’ll make some business deals on the golf course! Maybe because of my good etiquette that I’ve learned through playing with adults and strangers through Youth on Course.”