The PGA of Alberta may be headed to your community at some point this summer under a new program to introduce people to the game of golf and to your local professionals.
“We are trying to grow the game that way by getting that connection with golfers and golf pros in communities that maybe don’t have the access to golf pros that some communities do,” explained Murray McCourt with the PGA of Alberta.
The PGA on Wheels program is still only in first gear with just a handful of stops on the tour but one of those will be in Red Deer at River Bend Golf and Recreation Area in late August during the PGA of Alberta championship, he said.
“Certainly there are a lot of people in Red Deer who don’t play golf and this is an opportunity to expose them to the game and see what they can get out of the local golf courses in Red Deer and get them involved in the game,” he said.
There will plenty of activities during the day, especially for the kids, getting them involved in the game by swinging clubs, putting them on the swing speed monitor, measuring how far they can hit a ball and trivia questions about the game itself.
“This is all new, we kind of did one in Calgary when we had the grand opening of our PGA office building,” said McCourt, adding each time out they hope to learn what is working and what people are interested in seeing.
The Association purchased a motor home in the spring and McCourt says it’s exciting to get it on the road, adding the support from the APGA professionals has been solid.
“There’s lots of excitement within our entire organization with this project and we’re always looking to do what we can to grow the game as it’s very important to all of us and we want to expose it to as many people as we can.”
In spite of the fact three golf courses in Central Alberta have shut down operations over the past five years McCourt says the game is still strong in Alberta and new courses are opening in other regions. But he admits across North America the number of rounds being played is down.
“We really want to keep it as strong as possible and get the next generation playing and keep our golf courses busy,” he said. “It’s just such an awesome game for people to be able to do at all ages and from all walks of life.”