GCBAA award for New York parks


Sean Dudley

The Golf Course Builders Association of America has announced the New York City Parks Foundation as the 2012 winner of its Jim Kirchdorfer Sticks for Kids Excellence Award.

Along with Sticks for Kids partner the National Recreation and Park Association, GCBAA gives the award each year to honour a particularly outstanding junior golf programme. Earlier this year the award was renamed to honour the late Jim Kirchdorfer of ISCO Industries, who was instrumental in launching the programme.

“It is important to Sticks for Kids partners to recognise the accomplishments of the excellent programs that are teaching golf to underserved youth across the United States, said GCBAA executive director Justin Apel. “City Parks Foundation exemplifies the way the founders intended the programme to be used.”

City Parks Foundation was first awarded a Sticks for Kids grant in 2010 and immediately implemented the programme as part of its golf scheme available free to youngsters all year round at its Junior Golf Centre and Junior Golf Annex in Queens. Additionally, it offers clinics at various locations across all five boroughs of New York City. Children, starting as young as six, learn driving, pitching and putting in neighbourhood parks. 3,872 kids participated in 2011.

Development officer Julie O’Shea said: “The programme significantly expands free opportunities for kids to safely spend their summer and out-of-school hours, eliminating a burden on families. By offering thousands of children lessons on public park land, it helps to bring people together and revitalise communities. Most participants continue the programme for several years. We also provide follow-up instruction and competitive opportunities on local courses to encourage them to continue playing. Finally, the life skills component of each lesson helps develop internal assets of goal-setting and interpersonal communication, that will contribute to personal success throughout their lives.”