KemperSports properties across the country to host special youth programming as part of ongoing initiative to grow the game of golf and #MakeGolfCool
NORTHBROOK, Ill. (July 14, 2023) – KemperSports, a leading golf, sports, entertainment and hospitality company, announced today the first-ever “KemperSports Youth Golf Week” scheduled to take place July 24 - 30 at KemperSports facilities across the country. Youth golf advocate Roger Steele, KemperSports’ new community advisor for the #MakeGolfCool initiative, is spearheading the program.
Throughout the week, KemperSports properties will celebrate Youth Golf Week by offering free or discounted greens fees, youth golf clinics, special giveaways, instructional events, contests and more for young players (through age 16). Properties, participants and their families will be encouraged to share their KemperSports Youth Golf Week content on social media by tagging @kempersports and using #MakeGolfCool. Select content will be featured on kempersports.com/growthegame and on KemperSports social channels to inspire others to get involved.
“Golf is a sport best learned while young. Those who fall in love with it as a kid, play for the rest of their lives,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “With the help of our partner Roger Steele, we hope Youth Golf Week will become an annual initiative to introduce generations of young people to this great game.”
According to the National Golf Foundation’s (NGF) 2023 Graffis Report, on-course junior golf participation jumped 11 percent year-over-year in 2022, with over 3.4 million kids (ages 6-17) playing on a course last year - the highest total since 2006. The 900,000 increase in youth golfers over the past three years – a 36 percent jump – is the most significant of any on-course participation segment over that time. Away from the course, juniors accounted for more than 25 percent (3.9 million) of the 13.2 million Americans who exclusively played off-course forms of the game in 2022.
On and off the course, the junior golfer pool continues to be more diverse than the game’s overall participation base. The NGF reported that when looking only at on-course junior golfers, 38 percent are females (compared to almost 25 percent of all golfers) and 28 percent are non-Caucasian versus 20 percent in the general golf population. Overall, juniors account for 28 percent of the 20.8 million non-golfers who are “very interested” in playing, a statistic that speaks to the great potential and opportunity the golf industry has to capture the next generation of players and drive the game forward.
“It’s been amazing to see the increase in both the sheer number and the diversity of youth taking up golf. Together, we have a great opportunity to grow and build the future of the game, and initiatives like KemperSports Youth Golf Week is the next piece of the puzzle that will help us get there,” said Steele. “When I was first falling in love with the game, it was cool instruction, programs and events that allowed me to take things to the next level. I’m confident that this newest initiative with the KemperSports family will provide youth across the country with those same opportunities.”
In addition to spreading the word to new and avid youth golfers across his growing network of followers, Steele will be participating from his hometown by hosting a clinic on July 24 at Harborside International Golf Center in Chicago with students from Chicago Public Schools. Steele was introduced to the game of golf as a child by his father, however, he didn’t develop a deep love for golf in his early years due to a lack of peers and resources for development. He is committed to growing and diversifying the game through content, philanthropy, and partnerships like his current efforts with KemperSports.
KemperSports Youth Golf Week marks the company’s latest commitment to growing the game by making the sport more welcoming and accessible for youth players. The new initiative also continues its history as an industry leader in the space that’s been marked by its decades-long partnership with local First Tee chapters nationwide and being the first golf course management company to sign on as a founding supporter of Make Golf Your Your Thing.
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KemperSports is a leading sports, entertainment and hospitality company that delivers operational excellence in property and experience management. Headquartered in Chicago with regional offices throughout the U.S., KemperSports manages more than 140 golf courses, private clubs, sports venues, and destination resorts nationwide. It has more golf properties named among the top 100 U.S. public and resort courses as rated by GOLF Magazine, Golf Digest and Golfweek than any other management company. For more information about KemperSports, visit www.kempersports.com.
Taryn Parker, KemperLesnik
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