Walt Disney World Golf Introduces Special Program Supporting Junior Golfers
Beginning May 1st and for the remainder of 2023, Walt Disney World Golf offers a discounted rate program at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, the family-friendly, 9-hole walking course.
A round of golf will be available for only $5 per junior member of Youth on Course, a non-profit program focusing on eliminating the barriers facing junior golfers due to the costs of playing golf at local courses.
“We are always looking for ways to expand access to the game that we love, especially for junior golfers who may otherwise lack that access,” said Bruce Gerlander, General Manager of Walt Disney World Golf, operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management.
Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course is well-suited for families and casual golfers. This course, originally only six holes and known as “The Wee Course”, was expanded in the 1990s by Ron Garl, who designed the fifth, sixth, and seventh holes to feature water hazards around a canal and pond. The par-36 layout can be played from junior tees (1,713 yards) or close to 3,000 yards (including a 517-yard par-5) from the white tees.
Through its affiliations with local Allied Golf Associations and golf facilities, Youth on Course now provides access for over 140,000 junior members, ages 18 and under, at nearly 2,000 golf courses across the United States and Canada, for $5 or less per round.
In addition to the on-course access program, Youth on Course provides off-course opportunities for career preparation, paid summer internship and caddie programs, leadership skill development, and even college scholarship programs. These benefits to junior golfers are made possible by the passion and generosity of donors and partner golf courses who want to see young people succeed, both on and off the fairways.
Youth on Course was initiated in 2006 on the west coast through the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA). The NCGA initially started a model program to provide access for local junior golfers to play the Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach for only $5 per round.
While visiting, junior golfers can also test their developing skills on the brand-new 18-hole putting course. Rather than a large flat surface area for the practice green, the new layout has been graded to give the area new contours and elevation changes to provide a more realistic and challenging putting experience. The lush Bermuda grass surface will require the right combination of skill and luck as you navigate the course’s layout.
Golf has been integral at the resort since Disney’s Magic Kingdom opened its gates in 1971. However, after over 40 years of hosting professional tournaments and the sport’s biggest names, Walt Disney World’s focus has shifted to expanding golf’s reach. Its support of Youth on Course is another prime example.
Visit golfwdw.com for more information or to book a tee time at “The Happiest Place on Turf!”
Photos courtesy of Russell Kirk