A California-based non-profit organization with a focus on bringing down barriers for young golfers is expanding into Canada in 2019, beginning with a foray into Alberta.
Youth on Course, based in Pebble Beach and founded in 2006, says they will embark on a two-year pilot project with Alberta Golf to help bring more affordable golf options to young golfers. Golf Canada will evaluate the program in hopes to implement it nationwide in 2021. Golf Canada will recognize the program under their Future Links umbrella.
The extended reach of the U.S. programs sees it provide subsidized golf, college scholarships, caddie programs, and paid internships. For now, the intentions in Canada will be to open up access to some Alberta courses for youth aged 6-18 who sign up for a Youth on Course membership. There is a small charge for the membership in some areas; no rate has been announced for Alberta members. Golf Canada, in a response on Twitter, mentioned that all Golf Canada members 18 & under in Alberta will receive a membership card.
The courses participating will receive subsidies to supplement the fee young golfers will play for their rounds; no information was released how much the subsidy will be.
The youth must also complete a short online curriculum to sign up. As members they will also get access to the full list of member courses throughout the United States, now numbering more than 1000 facilities.
In Alberta, the list of courses offering junior golf rounds for $5 or less are:
Goose Hummock Golf Resort, Westlock Golf Course, RedTail Landing Golf Club, Whitetail Crossing Golf Club, Eagle Rock Golf Course, Olds Golf Club, River Spirit Golf Club, Heatherglen Golf Course, Serenity Golf Club, McCall Lake Golf Course (18 & par 3), Shaganappi Golf Course (18 & 9), and Banff Springs Springs Golf Club (Tunnel 9).
Already serving a large potion of Canadian junior golfers through their Future Links program, Golf Canada sees this new initiative as another way to extend the impact of the game.
“When first introduced to Youth on Course, we felt it was a very strong initiative to advance junior golf and we are pleased to be involved in this pilot stage for the program in Canada,” says Jeff Thompson, Chief Sport Officer of Golf Canada. “Together with Alberta Golf and our participating partner courses, we are eager to give community access to golf at an unprecedented level of affordability.”
The team at Youth on Course is equally pleased to grow their program across international borders.
“Golf Canada and Alberta Golf continually inspire and nurture a new generation of golfers by providing access to affordable rounds,” says Adam Heieck, CEO of Youth on Course. “With the highest per-capita golf participation in the world, Youth on Course’s expansion will benefit the sport’s sustainability.”
Youth On Course, a registered non-profit that is primarily funded by donations, say they currently have more than 50,000 active members who have played some 765,000 rounds, They have also awarded college scholarships to 223 students.
To find out more on the program visit YouthOnCourse.org