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2018 – Third Year Summary

Baker, MT (Lakeview CC) – Junior Chippers Camp – $500 grant

“We use the USGA kids golf books so that each kid is moving at their own pace and is something we can build on year to year. We achieve the fundamentals of putting, chipping, pitching, sand, and driving range along with rules and etiquette. We also host a small tournament the last day so that the kids learn how to play the game and have a little competition. I think the grant program does a great job! I personally love the “USGA Kids” program and would recommend it and their clubs to anyone looking to start their own program. The ease of the books makes it great for anyone to be able to teach out of and simple enough for the kids to understand and succeed.”

Billings, MT (Yegen GC) – Yegen Kids Golf Camp – $500 grant

Report is pending.

Black Eagle, MT (Anaconda Hills GC) – Junior Golf Programs – $600 grant

“These programs are certainly a team effort and partnership between the City of Great Falls, MSGA, LPGA Girls Golf, and Girl Scout Montana Wyoming. The total amount of young adults touched by our various golf programs this year totals about 1633 youngsters in the Great Falls community. This extensive programming could not happen without the MSGA’s and LPGA’s Girls Golf generous contributions to our programs.”

Bozeman, MT (Cottonwood Hills GC) – Junior Golf Program – $500 grant

Broadus, MT (Rolling Hills GC) – Junior Golf Program – $500 grant

“We hosted 6 clinics for the junior golfers in the Broadus area. We are wrapping up the year with our 1st annual Rolling Hills Junior Golf Tournament on Sunday 8/5/18. The grant money allowed us to buy prizes and additional golf clubs for the tournament. We are projecting 25 children from Broadus, Baker, Miles City, and Billings to participate in this year’s tournament. We will have four age groups. The funds given to us from MSGA were well used!”

Columbus, MT (Stillwater GC) – Junior Golf Camp – $500 grant

“Each kid received three days of instruction followed by a tournament the 4th day. They received a tee shirt, tees, ball markers, divot repair tool, daily prizes, lunch and medals for the top three in each flight. Each kid who attends camp also gets a free bucket of range balls each time they come out to the course the entire summer. This year we were able to purchase new chipping nets and three sets of kids clubs. Day 3 – Each group got to go play a few holes on the course with a marker to help them with everything they have learned in the first 2 days. Day 4 – Tournament. Kids are split up based on age/ability and they play the course. Followed by Lunch and Awards. We are getting so many kids who love our camp and love the game of golf that we would like to expand our program. Maybe a program that would last 6 weeks. We definitely have the interest we just need to come up with enough staff/coaches to make it happen.”

Dillon, MT (Beaverhead GC) – Hook a Kid on Golf – $500 grant

“Hook A Kid on Golf (Tee Level (June 4-8), Green Level (June 19-July 31) & Challenge League (June 27-Aug 1). We were able to help purchase the golf clubs and supplies for the kids participating in the Tee Level (1st year) program. We appreciate the support as we continue to grow our youth golf program!”

Ennis, MT (Madison Meadows GC) – Junior Golf Camp & Golf in Schools – $1,000 grant

“I was able to get 36 kids signed up for this camp. First session was with the younger kids ages 49 years old and the second was ages 10-17. We used the SNAG golf equipment that was purchased a couple of years ago for the younger kids [with previous MSGA golf-in-the-schools grant]. They had a great time using that equipment. We set up different stations to keep the kids entertained and focused on learning a new skill at each station. With the grant money we had received this year I was able to purchase lunches for each day for the kids, and also some larger sets of clubs for the older kids to borrow who did not have clubs of their own. This grant really kick-started a great program that was a huge success and will continue to grow and attract more and more kids to hopefully grow our future high school golf program as well. I will take the SNAG golf equipment to the school this winter and help the PE teacher set it up and do a few golf classes in the gym when it’s too cold to go outside. I was not expecting to have as many kids show up for this camp as I did. I think this will be a great program to keep doing every year, and hopefully keep attracting more and more kids each year to get them introduced to the game of golf in a fun and positive way. I could not have done it this year without the help from the grant, and also the women’s league for helping prepare and serve the lunches. I am looking forward to next summer and seeing how many more kids I can get signed up! I think the grant program is an awesome way to get some golf courses just the little extra boost they need to get their Jr. camp up and running. Golf equipment is expensive and it can be tough to come up with extra money to purchase much-needed items to successfully teach young golfers without them getting discouraged because they are using clubs that don’t fit or are outdated.”

Fairfield, MT (Harvest Hills GC) – Junior Golf Program – $500 grant

“Provided free instruction to the kids in all aspects of the golf game. We had 2.5 hours of instruction every week all summer (Tuesday mornings at 8:00am). We also had additional days when we met and played on the course. Harvest Hills provided Free access to the golf course during my program (June 4- August 10) (Every Tuesday and some playing dates also). That included playing on the course, hitting range balls, and use of the entire facility. In addition, I also was able to work out a deal, with help from your grant, to allow the kids free access to the golf course at ANY time during my programs dates. This means that: kids could go up there with their friends, parents, or by themselves. They checked in at the counter, said they were part of the SSA, and they were allowed to go out and golf for free, any day, as much as they wanted after signing a sheet of who played and when. This way the golf course knew who was in the program and should get free golf.”

Forsyth, MT (Forsyth CC) – Junior Golf Camp – $500 grant

“We divided the kids into three groups based on age/skill level, and did stations for the first three days of camp. We had full swing, chipping, and putting stations. In full swing we worked mainly on grip, stance, and making good connection with the ball. In chipping, we worked on what clubs to use and stance. In putting, we did circle drills, reading greens, lag putting, and showed them various grip types. By the third day, we did play a few shortened holes depending on their age/skill level. We coached them on etiquette when playing with others, what the different flag colors and sticks mean, where to tee off from tee boxes, and which clubs to use for length of shots. On the last day, we did a short tournament based on skill level. For the older and more experienced kids we let them play their own ball. For the younger and less experienced kids we did a scramble format. We provided prizes for 1st – 3rd in each division (sleeve of golf balls, DQ gift cards, DOTZ stickers). All the kids received a hydro flask and a certificate of participation for joining us during the week. My hope is we can continue this program in the years to come as well as do a junior golf league next year for those kids who want to play more during the summer. It would be a one-day-a-week league with a different game each week to keep it interesting for the kids.”

Frenchtown, MT (King Ranch GC) – New Golf-in-Schools – $1,000 grant

“We are starting a Golf-In-Schools program. I have been in contact with the school and our current week in the curriculum is the second week of January. This will correspond with me sending home information regarding sign up for PGA Jr League at King Ranch. I used my MSGA Grant money to purchase a set of Short Golf Equipment (similar to SNAG). I ran two different events this summer for kids in the Frenchtown area. The first was a 3-day (3 hrs total) for kids ages 4-7 as an introduction to golf with 8 kids. The second was a trial run with the school and working with larger groups. When I worked with the school we had two classes each having 20-25 kids (40-50 total). It gave us a good idea going into the school year how big of class we can operate with the equipment I have. This winter I will see all 600+ kids in Frenchtown Elementary Pre K- 5th. We have discussed adding in a couple of days this fall for smaller classes, but nothing confirmed yet (September 22, 2018). This past season I also had 20 kids sign up for PGA Jr League in our first year or that effort. My goal this upcoming year is 40+ kids in Jr League here at King Ranch.”

Lewistown, MT (Pine Meadows GC) – Junior Golf Program – $500 grant

“We were able to continue to grow and teach the game as well as introduce the game to more junior golfers. Our program started small and took a couple years to build. People are willing to participate in a golf outing/ volunteer to help out junior golf.”

Junior Golf Flourishing in Lewistown –
133 different individuals participated in Pine Meadows Junior League this year. ‘We have documented an increase in participation every year. The numbers just keep increasing, it’s a great thing’ said Keithon Walter. Numbers by the year: 2014 – 14 Individuals; 2015 – 39 Individuals; 2016 – 65 Individuals; 2017 -105 Individuals. Brett Thackeray and Keithon Walter started a junior golf program in 2014 that begins the first Monday in June and goes until the last Monday before school starts in August. The program runs from 9-11 A.M. every Monday throughout the summer. The kids get instruction, full use of the driving range, putting, and chipping greens, as well as use of the golf course and snacks at the end of the day – all free of charge. Fundraisers, donations, and grants helped purchase 11 sets of junior clubs available for juniors all season long. The Program is made possible by the parent volunteers as well as high school golf team members volunteering. It is also funded by generous donations by many individuals, local businesses, Montana State Golf Association, and The Lewistown Elks Lodge that have all donated in fundraising efforts. The Lewistown Elks and Pine Meadows Golf Course have been generous to Lewistown youth golf in donating its facilities as well as providing crucial funding for the Fergus High School golf team. ‘The parents staying and volunteering is always a huge help and greatly appreciated’ said Thackeray. ‘Our main goal is to get kids introduced to golf, learn the game and enjoy the game. It’s truly a game they can enjoy the rest of their lives,’ added Walter.”

Malta, MT (Marian Hills GC) – Junior Golf Camps – $500 grant

“Two golf camps held June 5-7 (26 kids) and July 10-12 (32 kids) for junior boys and girls ages 813. There were very few duplicate participants. Taught the basics of course etiquette, full swing, chipping, and putting. Emphasized making the game fun for future involvement.”

Missoula, MT (Canyon River GC) – New Golf-in-Schools – $1,000 grant

“The plan is to use these funds to purchase equipment for our Golf in Schools Program. I hope to have the equipment purchased by mid October. The program will kick off this fall and run thru the winter months. We also have a Junior Golf Marathon scheduled for 9/27/18 to raise funds to execute the program. We are looking forward to introducing the game, making it fun, and promoting all of its positive attributes to the children of Missoula. I started this same program in Lewiston, Idaho, back in 2011. We introduced 2,400 kids to the game of Golf in a 3-year period.”

Missoula, MT (Missoula CC) – Connor Sproull Golf – $250 grant

“With the grant from the MSGA, we were able to provide a nice lunch and ice cream sundae bar for the 90 kids in the Missoula Junior Golf Tour. We really love the support of the MSGA when it comes to junior golf in Montana. We are trying to make junior golf relevant in Western Montana and the Missoula area and it is a lot easier with the support of the MSGA.”

Missoula, MT (Missoula CC) – PGA Jr League – $250 grant

“The league was 3 weeks of instruction and 5 weeks of competition. This year, we held a MCC league that was at MCC all season. The league was open to outside kids, but mostly made up of member youth. The funds from the MSGA allowed us to have a final event pool party with all of the kids and parents. We fed the kids burgers and dogs, ice cream sandwiches, and they played in the pool. Player development for these kids was super. They learn to enjoy the game, compete, and work as a team. Make the leap. PGA Junior League is the best player develop program available. Thank you so much for the grant!”

Scobey, MT (Scobey GC) – Junior Golf Camp – $500 grant

“Youth Golf camp held Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and 27, 2018. Ages 6 – 9 on Tuesday, and ages 10 – 14 on Wednesday. There were a total of 50 kids involved this year. It was split pretty evenly for each day. We are starting to see more kids on the course, so we are hoping they will continue as young adults. Thank you again for the grant money – we think you are doing a great service for the youth of Montana!”

Seeley Lake, MT (Double Arrow GC) – Junior Golf Program – $200 grant

“I was able to engage the kids and allow them to sharpen their skills in a fun learning environment, while also fostering friendships with their fellow participants. We went over putting, chipping, pitching, full swing, and driver swing, over six different sessions. Each week we grouped up into teams to participate in competitions at the end of the each lesson. The grant money allowed me to feed the kids snacks and drinks to replenish their energy, while also giving the kids an opportunity to socialize in a non-competitive atmosphere in the caddie shack while enjoying snacks and beverages.”

Shelby, MT (Marias Valley GC) – Marias Valley Junior Tour – $500 grant

“I was able to achieve golf for kids in the in between months from all other activities. We were able to transfer knowledge of the game and joy of the game to the kids in a tournament environment. I would suggest that the MSGA be more involved in these programs and have a representative be around to learn what is happening so that other courses and areas can duplicate ideas that have been successful and try to avoid some pitfalls that some of us have already gone through.”

Sidney, MT (Sidney CC) – Golf in Schools – $1,000 grant

“I applied [for an MSGA junior grant] for two reasons this season. 1) I am still instituting a SNAG program in the town’s Elementary PE program, as well as trying to expand to other area towns, such as Fairview, Lambert, Savage, and even Glendive. 2) I offered to run a summer junior program at Plentywood this summer, in addition to the one offered at my course. The Sidney PE program was held in early spring at our local elementary school. The Plentywood summer program was held on Fridays for seven weeks starting, June 1st.
Exposing kids to golf, who don’t often get the chance, and getting them interested early, are the main goals of the school program. Expanding professional instruction to small towns in the area was the goal for the Plentywood program.”

St. Ignatius, MT (Mission Valley Jr Golf Assn) – Golf in Schools – $1,000 grant

“Our plan for fall and winter 2018, and spring 2019: We continue to build on the St. Ignatius program, which in the previous two years was supported by MSGA and again with this grant for the 2018-19 school year. The school district is an enthusiastic supporter of our effort. We are currently coordinating the curriculum for the Middle School gym classes that use the SNAG equipment you helped purchase each year. The actual golf student instruction sessions will be over the coming winter. But already the PE teachers are enthusiastic about having golf as a continuing element for their program. We will again able to introduce the golf swing utilizing snag equipment in the P.E. curriculum. Most, if not all, of the kids in St. Ignatius have never been exposed to golf. There is no golf course there, only elsewhere in the Mission Valley at Ronan and Polson. Last spring, after the winter program learning golf fundamentals in the gym, the middle school golfers were welcomed to Polson Bay Golf Course for a day on the course followed by lunch. The school district bused them up the 30 miles for the on-course day. This was also impactful due to the majority of the kids never having been to a golf course. Our goal has been, and continues to be, to open up the world of golf to all kids. They respond with excitement and enthusiasm. We anticipate the same scenario over this coming winter and spring 2019. The growth of the Polson & Mission Valley Junior Golf programs is being helped, to a considerable degree, by the generosity of the Montana State Golf Association, and our great community support from Polson area service clubs, notable Rotary and the Elks. Kids, who otherwise would not be exposed to golf, are being introduced to the sport because of the great effort, statewide, to promote junior golf. Hopefully, one day, all the schools in the state will have golf integrated into their PE curriculum, as you have helped us do in St. Ignatius. Thank you for investing in the development of current and future junior golfers.”