SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - PGA Professional and 2011 PGA Junior Golf Leader award winner Rick Grayson has a passion for teaching juniors the game of golf. With Family Golf Month in full swing, Grayson shares his experience with junior golf and why it is so important to grow the game.
For Grayson's facility, Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Mo., every month is Family Golf Month. The course offers junior programs year-round, including a four-hole junior course where kids play free.
More than 70 girls participated in his LPGA•USGA Girls Golf Program, and 68 children were part of a pilot junior golf program where teams coached by parents competed on a par-3 course every Tuesday evening. And in 1997, Grayson launched a high school golf clinic where coaches and students received instruction from PGA Professionals that is still going strong today.
"Junior golf was not always at the forefront of our minds, and because of that, we're paying a price, so to speak," said Grayson. "We're seeing other sports like soccer and football growing, while golf remains at a standstill. Junior programs are the way to grow the game.
"And, how we conduct those junior programs is going to influence the next generation of golf. The future of golf is in their hands," added Grayson.
Grayson recently had a gentleman taking lessons at his facility explain to him that his son's participation in a junior program was the reason behind his desire to learn. Now, even his wife is planning on taking lessons this summer so that they can enjoy the game together as a family.
For more information about Rick Grayson and his facility's programs, visit RickGraysonGolf.com.
For more information on Play Golf America, junior golf, or any other Family Golf Month activity, visit PlayGolfAmerica.com. The site allows users to find and register at participating facilities in their area by searching their city or zip code.
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.