Golf News for Monday, March 31, 2014 | Growth Of The Game

TGA program brings golf to special needs students in Austin, Texas

AUSTIN, Texas -- TGA Premier Junior Golf (TGA) has become a popular outlet nationwide for special needs students to experience and learn the game of golf in the safe setting that is their schools.

For the first time, TGA's innovative curriculum is being offered at two of the country's premier special needs schools located in Texas; the Capitol School of Austin (CSA), and the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD).

Capitol School of Austin is a private, non-profit school for children ages two years through 4th grade who are identified with speech, language and learning differences. Six adventuresome students out of CSA's student population of 50 stepped up last fall to participate in the first six-week session presented by TGA, and now the program will offer the school's fifth session this month.

"Students with learning differences often struggle participating in team sports, so golf has proven to be a perfect fit for our students," CSA Director Jeannette Young said. "Our students can have fine and gross motor coordination issues, along with compromised communication, social and attention skills, that can make learning a new sport arduous. But, the TGA curriculum is designed in a special way to allow these students to be able to learn the sport of golf in a very positive environment."

The Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) is a state agency and public school located in Austin, which provides educational services to students of Texas who are deaf and hard of hearing, including many with multiple disabilities. TSD gives school children, - from toddlers through high school, and those ages 18-22, - the opportunity to learn, grow and belong in a culture that optimizes their potential, and provides accessible language and communication across the curriculum. The TGA golf program, which will begin this month at TSD, will be the first of its kind to work closely with students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

"TSD is looking forward to a great partnership with TGA," said Jesse Bailey, TSD's Middle School Athletic Director. "With TGA's expertise in golf, this is what we need to help us expand the sport to our elementary and middle school students."

TSD re-started its golf program for high school students in 2009 - thanks to the Austin Sertoma Club - whose members donated a practice green that was built on the school campus, and provide an ongoing stipend for a deaf professional coach, as well as volunteer mentorship for students.

Students across the country are benefiting from TGA's five-level enrichment program, which enables children to advance from one stage to the next while building self-esteem. The unique and standardized curriculum, developed by educators with PhD's in curriculum development along with PGA and LPGA professionals, is designed to enrich lives through physical fitness, nutrition, character building and education with academic lessons in math, science, social studies and language.

"TGA's ability to work with and successfully teach special needs students the game of golf is a testament to the wonderful instructors that we have teaching the program," Casey Kreis, territory director for TGA in Austin, said. "It is very rewarding for us to impact the students and bring smiles to so many of them and their parents."

TGA Premier Junior Golf of Austin impacts thousands of youth annually by introducing the game to children at elementary and middle schools, child care centers and community organizations. TGA then transitions students to local partner golf courses through summer camps and parent-child clinics, which helps create new customers for those courses.

About TGA Premier Junior Golf
TGA Premier Junior Golf (TGA) has been enriching the lives of youth for the past 10 years through its school-based youth golf programs. It is an innovative franchise model for self-starters who enjoy working with children in a business venture that provides a unique entry into youth sports, education and the golf industry. TGA makes golf affordable and accessible through its consistent programs that offer physical education and after-school programs.

Entrepreneur Magazine named TGA a "Top 10 Franchise Value" in 2010 based on total startup costs, as well as ranked it No. 295 on the Magazine's Franchise 500 rankings in 2012. In addition, the publication has ranked TGA among the top children's fitness, low-cost and home-based franchises the last few years.

TGA is a national supporting organization of the After School Alliance and Lights on After School, and is a corporate advocate and national partner of the President's Challenge on Physical Fitness, Golf Coaches Association as well as the National Council of Youth Sports. TGA's curriculums are also approved by the United States Golf Association (USGA) under the Rules of Amateur Status.

For more information about TGA Premier Junior Golf, visit www.playtga.com or follow @TGAJuniorGolf on Twitter.

Media Contacts:

TGA of Austin
Casey Kreis

Director of Operations
(512) 659-0377

ckreis@playtga.com

TGA Premier Junior Golf
Kevin Frisch - Public Relations
(989) 614-0241
kevin@playtga.com