That’s why this year youth under the age of 18 will qualify for free membership with the Revelstoke Golf Club. Club pro Dean Jackson said parents don’t have to be members to sign up their children.
“It’s zero strings attached. They can just come in and sign up their kids for their membership and they’re good to go,” said Jackson.
The club is also offering free lessons for youth each Monday from 5-6 p.m. starting May 8. There will be no lessons on holiday Mondays.
“We just want to give the kids an opportunity to see if they game is for them. We just want a fun, safe place for the kids to have and come hang out,” said Jackson. “I was fortunate enough to have a great junior program provided to me growing up. This is sort of what we want to give back.”
Jackson said golf competes with other outdoor activities in Revelstoke for both parents and children. Jackson said the club sees the offer of free membership as a way to attract people to the game.
Jackson said for youth completely new to playing golf he recommends they attend the lessons first. Lessons will be taught by Jackson, along with assistant club pro Chance Beardsworth and other club members.
“That’s where they’re going to be taught. Not only how to swing the golf club, but the actual etiquette of the game,” he said.
While the Community Juniors Program does not have any funding, Jackson said the club felt the small loss in revenue is worth the return investment on getting more youth to try golf. Currently the plan is to run the Community Juniors Program for free for the next five years.
“What we saw was a decline over the past couple of years in the junior memberships. So the club is supporting the idea,” he said. “We want the kids to be down here.”