|YOC and Incarnation|
Golf is cool again! Many people say that golf is slowly losing interest, I say not and here’s why with a prime example. With the return of Tiger coupled with guys like Jordan Spieth, Ricky Fowler, Justin Thomas and a whole host of other characters young boys and girls are watching golf and it is exciting.
In Dayton, Ohio, a school has played off of the big guys to create a platform where kids can learn the game and play it for a lifetime, and it is cool! Incarnation School now has 96 kids in the upper grades (5-8) playing golf and 48 in a Cadet program (grades 3-4). The growth of golf at Incarnation has really been something to see and admire. Not only are the kids excited about learning to play golf, but the parents are excited as well.
“We are really excited about the growth of the program certainly from a numbers standpoint (over the last five years we have gone from 34 to 55 to 70 to 112 to 147) but also from a pure interest in the game of golf as well” says Jon Kreusch Director of the Incarnation program. CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) golf has been the mainstay platform for the program for over last 15 years where other local Catholic schools also put together teams and there are matches every Sunday in the fall. With our talent pool and growth at Incarnation, we decided several years ago to head out of Dayton and schedule 25 non-conference matches down in Cincinnati and over in Columbus where over 28 of the older kids get a chance to play in matches that will get them ready for high school. These matches are extremely competitive and the scores are not what you would think, they are much better.
Practice consists of stations (one or two days a week) where you just keep kids moving. Chipping, putting Driving and the most important station of them all, rules and etiquette. This way they don’t get bored. Late last year, the Executive Director of the Miami Valley Golf Association Steve Jurick, introduced the school to Youth on Course. Since late last fall, over 180 kids have already signed up locally and almost 100 are from the Incarnation team. “With Steve’s leadership and communication, this is only going to get bigger and better for your kids in Dayton wanting to play the game of golf as it is a more affordable sport than many for this program” Kreusch also states.
When you package fun, camaraderie, matches, station practices as well as Youth on Course, you have a recipe for a growing program that kids will learn to like the game on their own and will continue to play it for a life time.
Youth golf isn’t dying, is it just getting started.