A need for funds to help allow kids from ages 8 to 18 to play golf for $5 a round will lead eight adults to walk 100 holes in one day at Midland Country Club in two weeks.
The Youth on Course program allows junior golfers access to a network of courses across the country at a reduced cost. But to help offset the cost lost by clubs in the reduced rounds, the program accepts fundraising from golf foundations and organizations across the country. This year, the Carolinas Golf Association is hosting three 100-hole hikes at Midland, the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte and Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, with a goal of $100,000.
The goal is nearly within its goal as of Wednesday.
“It’s a fun way to raise awareness and money for a great program that is Youth on Course,” said Braxton McLennan, director of development for the Carolinas Golf Association. “It’s good to have one in Pinehurst with our headquarters in Southern Pines. This is the first time we have done multiple. The last two years we have done one in Quail Hollow.”
Eight golfers will start in the early hours of Nov. 2 at first light to complete 11 rounds, plus another hole around the nine-hole course on Midland Road. The participants on the day are: Chris Wolff, Chris Zeh, Hunter Miller, David Horne, Scott Danals, Justin Ivy, Alec Lloyd and Robbie Zalzneck.
The sport of golf locally has seen a boom in play, and that has led to more play by juniors.
“During COVID it has exploded the amount of players and members we have,” McLennan said.
The Carolinas Golf Association has a total of 15 hikers that are raising funds and awareness for their marathon golf days at the three courses in North Carolina. Youth on Course was adopted by the CGA four years ago, McLennan said.
Nationally, there have been 100-hole hikes to continue to fund the growing program that was founded 15 years ago and now allows access for its more than 130,000 members to play more than 1,700 golf courses nationally.
“Youth on Course this past year did several hikes across the country at short courses. They did Tiger’s new one called The Hay out at Pebble Beach; they did the short course at The Olympic Club; they did The Cradle,” McLennan said. “So, I was trying to piggyback on what they were doing so this got me thinking we wouldn’t have to do one at an 18-hole score.”
Harold Varner III is a national ambassador for Youth on Course with funding provided through the HV3 Foundation, and recently visited the Country Club of North Carolina to talk about the efforts of his foundation and the foundation of the club to help raise money for Youth on Course.
For those wanting to contribute to the fundraising effort, go to https://www.100holehike.org/yoccarolinas.