Nation's largest "golf in schools" program partners with Trenton Catholic Academy, First Tee, to get students into the game.
The New Jersey Golf Foundation (NJGF), the charitable arm of the New Jersey PGA Section (NJPGA) brought the nation’s largest Golf In Schools program to the state capital’s Trenton Catholic Academy (TCA) earlier this year, as the school designated February as Golf In Schools Month. Additionally, the NJGF will partner with the First Tee of Greater Trenton to bring the popular Golf In Schools program to all elementary and middle schools throughout the city later in 2014.
The NJGF’s award-winning Golf In Schools program, which annually impacts more than 110,000 boys and girls (K-8) at more than 200 schools throughout the Garden State, has become a model for all 41 PGA of America sections across the country and is fully funded by the NJGF at no cost to school districts.
Trenton Catholic Academy served as the first school in New Jersey to designate an entire month to support and promote its Golf In Schools program, an initiative designed to introduce the game to children by incorporating golf into the physical education curriculum at elementary and middle schools, under the guidance of PGA Professionals.
PGA Professionals from the NJPGA play an active role in this program, as they work closely with physical education teachers to ensure the teachers are comfortable using the equipment and effectively presenting the golf curriculum to their students.
As part of this program, the NJGF provides each school with an allotment of SNAG (‘Starting New At Golf’) golf equipment (grades K-5) and AlmostGolf equipment (grades 6-8), developmentally appropriate equipment that allows golf to be learned and played in non-traditional venues, such as a school gymnasium and limited-space outdoor areas.
“Introducing boys and girls to the game of golf at a young age and in a welcoming environment is very important as these kids represent the next generation of golfers,” said Chris Hunt, Executive Director, New Jersey Golf Foundation. “Bringing the Golf In Schools program to the state capital is long overdue, but we anticipate this being the starting point of continued growth; move over dodge ball.”
As part of this initiative, children participating in the Golf In Schools program, along with their parents or guardians, will have the opportunity to visit a local course or driving range to experience the game outside the gym class setting. For the TCA students participating in the program, Springdale Golf Club in Princeton, N.J., in conjunction with Christine’s Hope For Kids – a local charitable foundation – will host them for an interactive day of golf and fun during the spring season.
Additionally, the boys and girls from TCA will have the opportunity to participate on the First Tee of Greater Trenton’s PGA Junior League Team, for boys and girls ages 13 and under. PGA Junior League, often referred to as golf’s version of Little League baseball, will serve as one of the state’s primary junior golf player development programs in 2014. The First Tee of Greater Trenton participates in the Capital league, and competes against private club teams representing Springdale Golf Club, Royce Brook Golf Club and Cherry Valley Country Club.
Additional schools districts participating in the Golf In Schools program in 2014 include elementary and middle schools from the following districts: Elizabeth, Plainfield, Newark, South Brunswick, Paterson, Clifton, Edison, Neptune, Union and Barnegat, among many others.
For more information, please visit www.njgolffoundation.com or call 732-465-1212.