The New Jersey Golf Foundation (NJGF), the charitable arm of the New Jersey PGA Section (NJPGA), announced that 90,000 children (K-8th grade) at more than 160 schools in New Jersey will participate in the 2012 Golf in Schools Program. Golf in Schools is an initiative designed to introduce the game to children, by incorporating it into the physical education curriculum at elementary and middle schools.
New Jersey’s Golf in Schools Program, which has expanded every year since 2009, has become a model for all 41 PGA sections across the country, and serves as a leading program to support the PGA’s growth of the game initiatives. In fact, the program, which was implemented at 127 schools statewide and impacted more than 59,000 students in 2011, will increase by more than 50% in 2012.
“The Golf in Schools program has enjoyed amazing growth over the years, and it is a testament to the dedication of PGA Professionals in the New Jersey PGA Section, as well as a tremendous commitment among physical education teachers at our New Jersey schools who recognize the value of introducing the great game of golf to children,” said Gregg Angelillo, President, New Jersey Golf Foundation.
“The Golf in Schools Program has had a positive effect on our Physical Education program in Edison Township, as our teachers and students have fully embraced the program,” said Jim Muldowney, District Supervisor, Health and Physical Education, Edison Township Public Schools. “Chris Hunt and his associates at the NJPGA and NJGF have been a pleasure to work with – from their initial presentation through the implementation of the program.”
To support this initiative, the NJGF provides each school with an allotment of SNAG golf equipment to keep an entire physical education class active and engaged. SNAG Golf (‘Starting New At Golf’) offers developmentally appropriate equipment that allows golf to be learned and played in non-traditional venues, such as a school gymnasium. In turn, a select group of PGA Professionals from the New Jersey PGA Section will visit the schools to train the physical education teachers on how to effectively introduce kids to the game. The PGA Professionals will work closely with physical education teachers to ensure they are comfortable presenting the golf curriculum to their students.
As part of this initiative, children participating in the Golf in Schools Program, along with their parents or guardians, will have the opportunity to visit a local course/driving range to experience the game outside the gym class setting. This access may include use of the course, the practice range, or both, and gives the participants a true golf experience.
“Many schools participating in the program are located in inner-cities, and this program provides these kids with an opportunity to learn many facets of a sport that is enjoyed by tens of millions of people nationwide,” said Angelillo. “If we can make a difference in one kid’s life, and inspire them to love this great game, then it’s all worth it.”
Schools participating in the 2012 program include elementary and middle schools from the following districts: Elizabeth, Plainfield, Newark, South Brunswick, Paterson, Clifton, Edison, Neptune, Union and Barnegat, among others. For more information, please visit www.njgolffoundation.com.
About The PGA of America
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. The New Jersey Section is one of 41 geographic sections throughout the country and has been in operation since 1925.
About The New Jersey Golf Foundation
The New Jersey Golf Foundation was created by the NJ PGA in 2004 to support programs to grow the game of golf in New Jersey. Over 100,000 youth have been involved in programming designed to introduce people of all ages and backgrounds to the game of golf. The NJGF Golf in Schools Program is run annually at more than 160 schools throughout New Jersey.