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Registration begins for Cape Coral Junior Golf Association

May 4, 2018
By CJ HADDAD (cjhaddad@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

A true hole-in-one organization, the Cape Coral Junior Golf Association is celebrating its 30th year and continues to benefit youth golfers in Cape Coral.

This non-profit group is approaching the tee for yet another summer of teaching, building friendships and having fun for boys and girls ages 7-18.

This 6-week program will be held every Monday morning from June 4 to July 9 at Coral Oaks Golf Course.

For an affordable fee of only $20, children can attend weekly golfing training sessions from pros, play weekly rounds of golf with peers and show the skills they have acquired with the Tournament of Champions held the final week of the program.

Registration will be May 5 from 8:30 a.m. to noon on a first-come, first-serve basis for 250 of Cape Coral's club-swinging youths. And new this year is an online registration option.

President of the Cape Coral Junior Golf Association, Mike Selby, said the website helps organize things smoothly.

"This is the first year we have had online registration. It is more convenient for the parents because they can register at home at their leisure. Many parents would rush down on the first day of registration being stressed that their child would not get in. It helps us because there are a lot of forms for the different levels of play. These can now be done ahead of time without the last-minute stress. We can prepare better for the summer program. Also, we have a better handle on the shirt sizes for the kids."

Selby is at the helm for his third year as president and said he loves his role working with young golfers and giving back to the city of Cape Coral.

"The program will probably help me live longer. There is great satisfaction seeing the kids smiling faces each Monday. Their enthusiasm is infectious and helps brighten my day. This makes all the hard work worth it. Golf has always been an important part of my life and I am happy I can give back to the community by promoting something so dear to my heart," said Selby.

He started his journey with the program over a decade ago, and has spread his love for golf throughout his family.

"I became aware of the program when my son was in it. About 15 years ago I became involved with the operations when I had grandchildren in the program. I have had 11 grandchildren in the program. I still have 4 that will be participating this year."

The CCJGA over its 30 years has kept opportunities for children at a low cost, and helps build character at an important stage in life.

"The CCJGA is special in that we keep the cost very affordable so everyone can give it a try. We even have the golf clubs, bags, balls and tees so parents don't have the expense to see if their child likes the sport. It is also very special to the kids as they grow and mature to thrive and be leaders in our community. We even have Chase Marinell who went through the program and is on the Canadian Tour now," said Selby.

Selby would like to thank those who have kept the program thriving over 30 wonderful years.

"We have so many people to thank for the program's success. Of course, Marianne Drahos and Carol Egan who started the program and ran it until I took over as president. We could not operate without the city of Cape Coral as they allow us the use of the golf course and carts each of the six Mondays. Allen Manguson, our head PGA pro, is indispensable. He recruits the area pros to help with the lesson each child gets every week. As a matter of fact, he was just awarded PGA Junior Golf Leader of the year."

Though all of the staff at the CCJGA runs a tight ship, it is truly the volunteers that allow the program to be a true success, Selby said.

"We have about 80 volunteers each Monday. They are the backbone of our organization. We can't operate without them. They help in setting up the different levels of golf courses, check in kids, drive the children in the golf carts, help with scoring, man water stations, dismantle the course at the end of the day and so much more. We can always use more volunteers. There are many ways to sign up to help. You can go online, call Coral Oaks Golf Course, call me or simply show up on Mondays June 4, through July 9. We are happy to have volunteers all six Mondays, just one or whatever is convenient for each individual."

The biggest, and most exciting difference from years past and present day, are the new opportunities beyond the golf course the CCJGA is offering youth in the community.

"We are now a 501(c)(3) organization and can get donations to keep the costs affordable so everyone can participate. We have added the website to keep everyone up to date on what is happening. Also we have added scholarships. We will be having our first annual fundraiser tournament in December to help with costs and scholarships as well as a raffle. The raffle will have 100 tickets at $100 each. The prize is a hunting or fishing trip worth $3,700. These will both be promoted on our website and at Coral Oaks Golf Course in September," added Selby.

This summer program is an amazing chance for kids to build new friendships on and off of the course.

"They will also be blessed with great competition but with the emphasis on the core values of golf, which are honesty, integrity and respect. Along with getting some exercise, they will make great friends and learn a game they can play their entire life with peers of all ages."

There are six levels of play so that all children can be put into the proper category, and can even progress up the ranks as the weeks go on. From first swing, all the way to championship levels, this is a program for all young boys and girls in Southwest Florida.

The tournament day will include trophies and prizes for each division and is followed by a picnic lunch provided by CCJGA sponsors.

If all spots are not filled by May 5, there will be a secondary registration at Coral Oaks on May 12.

"We thank everyone for 'Keeping the dream alive for the kids," added Selby.

More information and online registration can be found at capecoraljrgolf.org.

 
 
 

 

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