Spring 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 83

8 SPRING 2018 | NCGA.ORG P R E S I D E N T ' S D E S K W hen I started playing golf at the age of eight in Sacramento, I became a regular at Haggin Oaks. Through the foresight of then-head pro Tommy LoPresti, kids like me could get a Junior Discount Card by attending two Saturday classes on Rules and etiquette. Successful completion meant we could play nine holes for 25 cents and 18 holes for half a dollar, and I did…a lot.That program later morphed into the Sacramento Area Youth Golf (SAY-GOLF) program developed by the Morton family, which then morphed into The First Tee. These deep thinkers knew that to grow the game—like growing turf grass— you have to take responsibility for its care and feeding. Today, the NCGA Foundation'sYouth on Course (YOC) program offers the next step in growing the game. It gets kids on the golf course for $5 or less, at such courses as Haggin Oaks and The Links at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach. We also offer need-based college scholarships, internship programs and a growing caddie program for courses throughout Northern California. YOC is now in 23 states and growing larger all the time. If you want to give back to a sport that gives you so much enjoyment, please consider supportingYOC by donating, or finding ways to getYOC involved at your home course. There's no better time to be a mentor to a kid. Speaking of kids, the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship is coming to NCGA owned Poppy Hills GC in July. The best junior girls in the country, and internationally, will compete on YOUR golf course. Come out and watch, and see these incredible kids do things with a golf ball that you've only dreamed about. This is also the year that the Pacific Women's Golf Association (PWGA) and Women's Golf Association of Northern California (WGANC) begin to explore the possibility of transitioning into the NCGA. Changes like this are complicated and difficult. But I want to assure the members of those organizations that I want any transition into the NCGA to preserve the history and traditions of those organizations, their tournaments, their Open Days and Play Days and support for high school girls' golf.You can be assured that we will work together with their active input and participation. Finally, I have asked our Board to consider a new initiative this year that opens the door to the game of golf to more of our veterans. The NCGA already offers free membership to those service members who are on active duty in California, but I believe veterans who have already served need a special place they can call home in the NCGA. We're exploring a Veterans Associate Club, a spot on our website to promote veterans golf tournaments, the creation of a Veterans Cup Championship and an NCGA Membership Card with "Veteran" printed on it to allow vets to take advantage of discounts offered by many golf courses. I've already met with representatives of the VFW, amputee golfers, the Mather Golf Club's Veterans Golf Program, PGA Hope and the Northern California PGA. We will bring these programs to our Board in June for consideration, refinement and approval. Lastly, in 2017 we began to experiment with ways to get carts off the paths and onto Poppy Hills GC without damaging the sensitive grasses on our fairways. I support this effort. We are going to do further periodic trials again this year, and have also leased new golf carts with lithium batteries that are 300-400 pounds lighter than traditional carts to further reduce wear and tear on the turf. I'm well-aware of the desire to get carts off the paths and on the course by many of our members. The sweet spot is making the carts accessible to the course while also maintaining a championship quality golf experience. Stay tuned. From Kids to Veterans: Growing the Game BY TOM BONE

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of NCGA Golf - Spring 2018