As a kid was there anything much better than having your own “clubhouse”? You know, the fort or hangout where you and your friends met up, away from the prying eyes of adults and had some of the best days of your life. Laughs, jokes – it was your space to do what you wanted.
Junior golfers at the Perth Golf Course (Perth, Ontario) are getting their own version of that, thanks to the generous support of a community member and a national program.
Pierre Hofstatter, the owner of the Perth, Ontario Canadian Tire franchise is expanding his previous support of the juniors golfers at Perth with a brand new clubhouse; one just for them.
In 2014, at the prompting of the four owners of the golf course, Hofstatter stepped up to provide lockers for the juniors, a place where they could keep their clubs safely. Many travel back and forth from home to the club by bike since the golf course is conveniently located in the centre of town.
This year, he is taking support of the juniors to a whole new level.
“I approached the owners this spring and asked if I could build a proper clubhouse for the junior golfers as not only a place to store their clubs, but so then they could have their own space like the adults,” explained Hofstatter. “My wife Robyn and I are providing the clubhouse to encourage the youth of our community to be involved in healthy activities and sport.”
The Canadian Tire support is a natural fit given the company’s now decade old Jumpstart national charity program that helps kids participate in organized sports and/or physical activities by assisting with the costs associated.
“Canadian Tire is committed to increasing participation from young people in all sports, including golf, through its Jumpstart program,” said Hofstatter. “The opportunity to do something for young golfers in the area, and to really excite the community was too good to pass up. Jumpstart can help kids that may not be able to afford the cost of getting started with golf.”
The actual clubhouse will be owned by the Perth Canadian Tire but there will be no cost for the junior golfers in town to access it.
The initiative demonstrates a wise look to the future of the game for a golf course that is celebrating their 125th anniversary this year.
“We know there’s been stories out there about the decline of junior participation in golf, but we’re not seeing that. In fact, we’ve been thrilled at the response so far,” explained Rob Knights, vice president of operations for Thunderbird Management Services Inc. (TMSI), Perth’s management company. “We wanted to do something special for our juniors, and for the community, and we think this is a great start.”
“Kids are really going to love the space,” said James Paterson, director of golf for Perth. “It’s a great spot for them not only functionally, but also to be able to relax with friends before and after a round.”
The official opening of the new clubhouse will be Saturday May 30th.. The grand opening kicks off at 12 p.m.
Juniors in attendance will also receive information on the junior program, a sleeve of golf balls courtesy Canadian Tire, and a sleeve of Birtees, courtesy Mario Caya (a member at Perth Golf Course and the inventor of the product).