Youth on Course, a California-based non-profit that helps cover the cost of golf for children, plans to be active in all 50 states by the end of January.
Youth on Course has taken off since branching out of California in 2014 and ’15, and it now offers programs in cooperation with other state and regional golf associations. The program also offers opportunities for internships, college scholarships and caddie programs.
Children who join Youth on Course are eligible to receive green fees of $5 or less at participating courses. The organization said it subsidized 400,000 rounds in 2020, up from fewer than 100,000 in 2015.
In 2020, nearly 1,500 golf facilities in 38 states and Canada participated in the program. During a virtual call Wednesday, Youth on Course operators said that will expand to all 50 states soon.
Youth on Course updated its visual branding in 2020.
Most of the money used to subsidize rounds is raised through individual donors and corporate partners. Youth on Course then negotiates with facilities to set a price for a round and covers any costs over the $5 the kids pay.
The growth to all 50 states is fueled in part by partnerships with Allied Golf Associations, PGA sections, management companies and a new deal with GolfNow, the online tee time booking service. Through a new integration, GolfNow’s technology will allow Youth on Course members to book rounds directly through the Youth on Course app.
GolfNow also is giving regular golfers the opportunity to round up their booked green fees to the next highest dollar, with proceeds going to Youth on Course.
Youth on Course’s research shows that cost is the toughest barrier to entry for many children. The mission is to provide all kids the chance to learn the game on a real course. The organization said 33 percent of its members are youth of color, 25 percent are female, 51 percent are aged 14 to 18, and 42 percent of rounds are played with an accompanying adult.
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