TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Since 2011, SNAG Golf has piloted its highly successful SNAG G-Ball program in an effort to grow the game and energize youth participation in golf much in the way that T-Ball has done for baseball.
"The golf industry recently has been lobbying for the game to establish its own version of T-Ball, but we already have it with SNAG Golf's G-Ball program," said Terry Anton, CEO of SNAG. "Through our partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), we have been reaching thousands of kids ages 5-12 who sign up to learn the fundamentals of golf."
According to Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA, "Results of the pilot program with SNAG were outstanding, with park and recreation staff and volunteers reporting that children had fun using the SNAG G-Ball equipment and participating in the different modules. The SNAG G-Ball program pilots successfully demonstrated that young children can have fun learning golf and that parks and recreation agencies are a critical component of growing the game of golf."
G-Ball is best described as golf's version of T-Ball, focused on children 5 and 6 years old. It can be conducted by parent-coaches in gymnasiums, on soccer fields, and throughout other open spaces -- with or without a golf course. G-Ball was developed using age-appropriate programming based on a child's golf motor skills as well as the culture of the game. The program is activity-based with progressive instruction occurring as the child develops. Play is the focus of the program in a non-competitive format.
Taking G-Ball to a new level will be the Jack Nicklaus Learning Leagues, powered by SNAG, which kicks off this month in five pilot markets including Columbus, Ohio; New York; Miami; Chicago; and Los Angeles. In partnership with the NRPA, the Jack Nicklaus Learning Leagues will target kids ages 5-12 at local parks. Nicklaus partnered with SNAG on this initiative because of SNAG's history and global experience with introducing golf to young children, and because of Anton's passion and commitment to support the Golden Bear's desire to reach children at a younger age with the game.
"Teaching kids that golf can be a fun team sport, and introducing them to games and instruction in an engaging and non-threatening format, is the key behind our new Learning Leagues," Nicklaus said. "We want to give golf a competitive footing with such team sports as soccer, basketball and football and the park system is the best place to start."
"We see the Jack Nicklaus Learning Leagues as a feeder system to the golf industry," said Anton. "If we can get 5-year-old kids to like the game because it's fun and because their friends play it, then perhaps we can keep them in the system for a lifetime and eventually move them from using SNAG equipment to hitting real clubs and balls and taking lessons with PGA and LPGA teaching professionals. We are the bunny slope for golf."
Some 100 Jack Nicklaus Learning Leagues are planned for 2013 and an estimated 300 are projected to launch in 2014.
About SNAG® Golf
SNAG® Golf ('Starting New at Golf') is a proven first touch development program designed for new learners of all ages. It is an easy and fun way to learn and play golf. SNAG contains all the elements of golf but in a modified form.
It builds on strong fundamentals of putting, chipping, pitching and full swing to develop playing ability quickly and effectively. SNAG Golf incorporates developmentally appropriate equipment that will allow golf to be learned and played in non-traditional venues, such as on a soccer field, in a gym, or on the beach. It can be taught and played almost anywhere in the world with immediate, positive results. This instant success keeps new learners wanting to be further involved with golf.
SNAG is the skills-acquisition program used in the national school golf program headed by the World Golf Foundation's First Tee Program. There are more than 8,000 schools that are successfully introducing children to golf in the U.S. and over 12,000 worldwide. Professionals, please visit our SNAG Pros website www.snagpros.com for more information on our Coaching System used to instruct new learners. For individuals and groups that want to have fun learning golf visit www.snaggolf.com.
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