WA Golf Youth on Course continues to make golf affordable for juniors

by Roger Sauvage, USGA P.J. Boatwright Intern

With WA Golf Youth on Course, kids can play $5 rounds of golf at over 70 facilities in Washington and Northern Idaho, and thousands more across the U.S. and Canada. Beyond growing the game, the program enriches young lives by fostering personal growth and creating meaningful connections on the golf course.

(Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to WA Golf Youth on Course.)

This program provides youth, ages 6-18, with an affordable opportunity to play golf, which helps them make many friends and connections throughout their journey and teaches them life lessons that you can’t put a price on. Even though this program is relatively new, it has already made a significant impact on the WA Golf community.

As Youth on Course continues to grow, the opportunities expand with it, and the statistics back it up: 97 percent of Youth on Course families say YOC makes it possible to afford the cost of golf for their children, and 78 percent of members say Youth on Course has helped them improve their confidence.

By the Numbers in 2023:

  • WA Golf allocated over $185,000 to participating courses to subsidize each round played by WA Golf Youth on Course members.
  • Over 9,700 WA Golf Youth on Course members played over 48,000 rounds of golf.

The program also greatly enhances kids’ social skills, allowing them to make new friends, a skill that is invaluable and can lead to lifelong friendships. This is all made possible by WA Golf and the Washington Golf Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit that accepts donations and uses the money to help subsidize the discounted green fees at the participating courses.

“This amazing program is possible because members and donors help give back and donate to the Washington Golf Foundation,” says Matt Brown, the foundation’s director of development and donor engagement. “With the contributions that are made, we can continue to grow the program, and offer more participating courses. Also, we are now set up to be a beneficiary designation. This is an easy way to advance the game of golf, and we are just getting started.”

Give $5 for $5 youth access to golf

For new golfers, this program provides an accessible and welcoming introduction to the game, making it easier for beginners to start their golfing journey. Not only is this program beneficial for kids, but it also offers great advantages for families. It provides a reasonably priced opportunity for a family outing at the golf course, allowing families to spend quality time together. This program encourages families to enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful experience of a sunny day on the golf course.

The benefits of the WA Golf Youth on Course program extend beyond just the financial aspect. By making golf more accessible, it opens a world of opportunities for personal development. Kids learn discipline, patience, and perseverance on the golf course. These are essential life skills that can positively influence their academic performance and interpersonal relationships. Moreover, golf is a sport that promotes physical fitness and mental well-being, contributing to a healthier lifestyle for young participants.

Community involvement is another significant advantage of this program. Local golf facilities benefit from increased foot traffic and a broader customer base, while families enjoy quality time together in a healthy and engaging environment. The program also creates volunteer opportunities, fostering a spirit of giving back and community service among young golfers. This holistic approach ensures that the positive impact of WA Golf Youth on Course extends to various facets of the community.

“It made the game affordable for us as a family. It made it possible for us to keep doing it. And it’s a great way to spend time with them.” – Chris Soterakopoulos, father of WA Golf YOC members Helaina and Max

Furthermore, the program helps bridge the gap between different socioeconomic backgrounds. By lowering the cost barrier, it ensures that golf remains an inclusive activity that all children can enjoy. This inclusivity promotes diversity within the sport, allowing kids from all walks of life to come together and share their love for the game. It helps in breaking down stereotypes and building a more cohesive and understanding community.