Pinehurst, NC–The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation announced that they are relocating their Georgia based non-profit foundation to the Home of American Golf-Pinehurst, North Carolina. The announcement was made by Dan Van Horn, Founder and President of U.S. Kids Golf.
Pinehurst and the surrounding communities have been the host site for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship and World Teen Championship for the past 15 years. The prestigious series of championships for kids ages 15-18 has evolved into the world’s largest junior golf championship with an annual field of over 2,000 young golfers from around the world.
“We are very excited to relocate and continue to grow our Foundation in Pinehurst, which has been the home of the World Championship since 2006,” announced Van Horn. “This move presents a wonderful opportunity to be part of the rich history and traditions that the Pinehurst community provides and will allow us the ability to further enhance our mission in growing the game of golf.”
The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation was formed in 2001 to promote the game of golf to kids around the world and to provide competitive playing opportunities at local, state, national, and international levels. Their mission ‘to help kids have fun while learning the lifelong game of golf and encourage family interaction that builds lasting memories’ gave birth to two distinct Foundation initiatives: Play & Learn and Tournaments.
The Foundation was the first youth golf organization to provide age and gender appropriate course yardages for kids’ golf competitions so players beginning as early as five could make pars, birdies, eagles, and even hole-in-ones in tournament play. Additionally, The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation mandated the use of caddies for players under eight years old and encouraged caddies for older players as critical support for the development of young golfers. Parents are provided with the proper education and coaching techniques as they caddie for their kids.
The Tournament division conducts over 1,600 golf tournaments annually around the world, including Local Tour events, State and Regional Championships, International Championships, and their eminently competitive World Championship held annually in July and August at 13 different golf courses in the Pinehurst area. They have over 25,000 junior golfers as active tournament players.
The Foundation’s Play & Learn initiative focuses on providing the best practices for guiding parents to bring their kids into the game and has led to the development of the U.S. Kids Golf Coaches Institute. This multi-tiered division provides unique training and educational opportunities for parents, golf instructors, coaches, and kids to learn and teach the game and to maximize the enjoyment the game of golf provides.
To help parents find kid-friendly coaches, the Foundation created the U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Award recognizing the best coaches and teachers for their outstanding ability to teach the game to kids. Later they developed a continuing education program for golf professionals to learn and share best practices on instruction that led to the U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coach program. Certified coaches learn to leverage their expertise by incorporating an understanding of club fitting, game-based learning methods, scaled yardages for on-course play, and coaching parents on the best ways to engage and motivate their kids while playing golf.
In 2015, the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation purchased Longleaf Golf & Country Club in Southern Pines, NC as a “Living Laboratory” for best practices in how a semi-private club can bring more kids and families into the game. The name of the club was changed to Longleaf Golf & Family Club, and the Foundation established the first U.S. Golf Academy on the property. The Academy currently serves over 600 players from the area and throughout the United States.
“Longleaf has been an outstanding addition to our Foundation,” added Van Horn. “Our Academy has been very successful in introducing golfers of all ages to the game of golf, and the Longleaf golf course has allowed us the opportunity to enhance our original forward tee program into the Longleaf Tee System, which has revolutionized the scaling of golf courses making the game more enjoyable for players of all skill levels.”
“We couldn’t be happier to see the U.S. Kids Foundation decide to relocate to the ‘Home of American Golf,'” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Golf is the fabric and DNA of our community, and they will be welcomed with open arms by everyone. Their commitment to growing the game is truly inspiring, and we look forward to making them feel at home in our globally recognized golf destination.” Visit HomeofGolf.com. for more information.
U.S. Kids Golf, LLC is based in Atlanta and manufacturers equipment and related golf products designed for kids. It was created in 1997 when Founder Dan Van Horn discovered that his children were losing their interest in golf due to not having the proper equipment. In addition to more than 4,000 golf shops and retail locations in the United States, the company’s products are available in over 75 countries worldwide. For more information on U.S. Kids call 770-441-3077 or visit USKidsGolf.com.