There has never been a time in New Orleans more important than now to invest in our youth. In a city that is starving to give our young people hope for tomorrow and the belief that dreams do come true, New Orleans is becoming a recognized leader in junior golf in America.
While the accolades are great, there is much work left to do. The youth of the inner city are not being reached. Access to public golf needs to grow and our city leaders can make a difference. When you are building greatness, you have to be great at every level. The time is ripe to take junior golf in New Orleans to even greater heights.
I encourage The Fore! Kids Foundation to continue with their excellent work with youths and to go the extra mile with junior golf.
Grow junior golf through the New Orleans Recreation Department, using all of their resources.
Bring energetic life back to The First Tee of Greater New Orleans where the program and the kids can realize their potential.
We can have Mayor Landrieu proclaim a "Junior Golf Day in New Orleans" each year to grow public awareness.
We do not have a inner city public high school golf team. That needs to happen.
We need to find positive roles for Corporate New Orleans to get involved in growing junior golf.
The New Orleans Golf Association is an excellent example of unselfish volunteer work with growing junior golf.
During difficult economic times, golf facilities have to look at junior golf as an investment for the future. Lakewood Golf Club is a good model of how it can be with their year-round weekly program.
We will continue to grow where we are strong. The Kelly Gibson Junior Golf Tour presented by Cox is one of the best in the south. We have a junior tour that reaches children from ages 9 to 22. A total of $40,000 is given annually in college scholarships based solely on academics and community service with playing ability not a part of the selection criteria. Those selected are chosen by an independent committee and each child submits a detailed written essay.
The U.S. Kids Junior Golf Tour run by the Gulf States PGA is an excellent developmental tour for ages 5 to 14.
The Arrowhead Junior Golf Tour based out of New Orleans is a regional junior golf tour that is the next step before going to the American Junior Golf Association Tour. This tour is an excellent opportunity for our local juniors to play against regional competition.
The Gulf States PGA Championship has been held in New Orleans the last two years with the winning girl and boy advancing to the PGA National Junior Championship.
We are proud that New Orleans now has the only national junior golf championship in Louisiana; the Tommy Moore Allstate Sugar Bowl Junior Golf championship is held at Lakewood where Tommy learned to play golf. This past year, 10 states were represented in the field.
New Orleans is gaining the attention of people all across America in the great game of golf. The time is now for all of us to come together to realize our true potential for our youth, the greatest investment in our future on and off the course.
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