DELTONA, Fla. -- "We are very excited about the future and what we are looking to accomplish" said PGA Golf Professional Brendon Elliott, Founder of The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development. "Our 501c3 has only been in place for nine months and we are making some tremendous strides forward already."
In its short existence the nonprofit has received grants from the following organizations:
• PGA Foundation and the Barbara & Jack Nicklaus Junior Golf Endowment fund.
• Florida Junior Golf Council (License Plate Program)
• Eric Baker Memorial Fund (Orlando Golfweek/Edwin Watts Amateur Tour)
Little Linksters has also had a laser printer donated from Lexmark who is the official printing technology provider of the PGA of America. "It is very encouraging to have the growing support of these organizations and companies and we are so very grateful. We have some other grants we are looking to secure soon and we are hoping to gain even more support as we continue to gain momentum" Elliott adds. Other companies and organizations such as the Proponent Group, the North Florida PGA Section, My Mini Golf, V1 Golf, Eyeline Golf, MoRodz, Pin Flags & More, Aim Better Golf, Almost Golf Balls, The Golfers Footprint, Golf Coach Direct & the Littlest Golfer, Inc. have already pledged their support. "In addition to these great companies and organizations, we are talking to several more about how they can get involved in helping our mission" added Elliott.
The nonprofit, Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development will be the vehicle that will launch the acclaimed Little Linksters Golf Program to areas nationwide in late 2012 and early 2013. PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is the founder of both The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development and Little Linksters, LLC and the developer of the Little Linksters program designed for kids 3-8 years of age. Elliott, a 2010 and 2011 US Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher, the 2011 & 2012 NFPGA Junior Golf Leader award winner and a 2012 PGA of America National finalist for the Junior Leader Award developed the program in 2008 in the greater Orlando area. From the beginning, Elliott had a desire to have PGA & LPGA Professionals nationwide share in his vision by introducing kids 3-8 to golf in a streamlined, uniform and most importantly, FUN format. The heart of the offerings from Little Linksters is its monthly "Mobile" program that is brought to daycare centers, schools, YMCA's, City Parks and more and its Little Linksters "Tour" Series that gets kids out onto the course in a non-competitive, fun, tournament-like experience. "Kids start golf far too late in life" explains Elliott. "Traditionally, kids are introduced to golf at age 9 or 10 and by then they have been exposed to so many other sports and activities. With all that the game of golf offers, the values and life lessons it teaches along with giving young children a sense of self discovery, accomplishment and individuality, we need to get kids into the game sooner...much, much sooner. That's what Little Linksters does. We are very excited to have a "soft launch" of our Little Linksters Certified Instructor Program next week at the 2012 Proponent Group Summit at Cog Hill" added Elliott.
Elliott has put together a rather impressive National Advisory Board to aid in obtaining the objectives of the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development. The board consists of the following golf industry professionals:
• Kris Wilson- President & CEO- The Littlest Golfer, Inc.
• Rich Smith- Executive Director/CEO of the North Florida PGA
• Hal Yost, PGA- National Director of AAU Golf
• Tom Horan, Host/Owner Speaking of Golf Radio
• Joe Hallett, PGA- Director of Instruction, Vanderbilt Legends Club; Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor
• Lorin Anderson- Founder & Director of the Proponent Group
• Anthony Stepney, PGA- Director Player Development/Instruction, Quantum Performance Institute
• Jason Sobel- GolfChannel.com Senior Writer; Golf Channel On-Air Talent
In addition to the grants and corporate support that The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development has gained early on, they also held a very successful first annual golf fundraising marathon event back on July 22nd at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, FL. The108 holes of golf fundraising event, "Little Golf, Big Purpose" was played on the Legends Walk short course at Orange Lake Resort. "The event raised nearly $13,000 and considering it was put together in a very short period of time, we were pleased with the results" Elliott said. "In conjunction with our fundraising efforts with the marathon and more, we will have an on-going eBay charity auction in an effort to bring in needed funds. Currently we have great items going up soon on eBay such as a Tiger Woods signed golf glove authenticated by Upper Deck which has a retail value of $5,000, a foursome to the Members Club at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota, STX Putters, a Nike VS Driver and more."
The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development is looking for the help of the golf industry or corporate America. Help can come in several ways including:
• Grant Opportunities
• Sponsorships (Several levels)
• Product Donations (Training Aids, Uniforms, Marketing Products)
• Donations for ongoing eBay Charity Auction (Products, Rounds of Golf, Memorabilia, etc.)
• Sponsorship of 2013 "Little Golf, Big Purpose" 108 Hole Marathon (Date TBD)
Brendon Elliott is a 1993 graduate of Norwich High School in Norwich, NY and a 1996 graduate of the State University of New York at Delhi with a degree in Golf Course Operations. In September of 2009, he completed the PGA of America's Golf Professional Training Program and in doing so became a Class A PGA Professional.
Elliott is the former Head Golf Professional at the Winter Park Country Club in Winter Park, FL where he was from 1998-2011. He is the owner of the newly opened Little Linksters Golf Academy @ Metrowest Golf Club in Orlando, FL. He developed his Little Linksters "mobile" program for kids 3-8 years of age in early 2008. The 4 week program runs continually throughout the year and takes place at Daycares/Pre-Schools, City Parks, YMCA's and at Golf Courses. In addition to the "mobile" program, Little Linksters runs the Little Linksters "Tour" which will see 11 events in 2012 that will be contested throughout central and northern Florida. These introductory and non-competitive tournaments for kid's ages 3-8 is the on course component to the Little Linksters program. Both the "mobile" program and "Tour" are run through the non-profit, Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development.
The mission statement of the Little Linksters program:
"Through a fun and friendly learning environment, students will accomplish three major goals; which in turn will produce a passion and respect for the game of golf. Through our efforts each player will learn; how the game teaches real life lessons (patience, integrity, respect, honesty and friendship), an understanding of the basic fundamentals of golf, and finally how to enjoy the experience that the game of golf offers"
Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development
PO Box 6384