Kids From Across the Area Enjoy MGA/MetLife Youth Clinic at the USGA
FAR HILLS, N.J. (July 25, 2012) – An enthusiastic group of more than 85 young golfers took part in the year's second MGA/MetLife Youth Clinic today, hosted by the USGA at their headquarters in Far Hills, N.J. The juniors were representing First Tee programs at Plainfield West in Edison, N.J., Weequahic Park in Newark, N.J., and Raritan Valley in Kenilworth, N.J., along with the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf of Greater Newark, and were welcomed by USGA Manager of Marketing & Outreach Kim Gianetti. All participants enjoyed a day of golf history, technology and games thanks to the generous time spent with them by USGA staff members.
The day started with USGA Film & Video Archivist Shannon Doody presenting a video which reviewed highlights of the USGA Museum’s launch of its “American Champions and Barrier Breakers” exhibit honoring the golf accomplishments of three transcendent African-American athletes: Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, and Althea Gibson. The exhibit celebrates the lives, athletic achievements, and important legacies of these American icons to the game of golf. In addition, Doody showed a glimpse of the documentary “1962 U.S. Open: Jack's First Major,” exposing the group to the legacies of both Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, who dueled each other at Oakmont Country Club fifty years ago.
After the presentation, the group enjoyed lunch and was pleasantly surprised with an appearance by MetLife’s affable mascot, Snoopy, who greeted the youngsters and posed for pictures.
Participants then began a three-station rotation, which included a guided tour of the USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History. On display were all of the USGA’s trophies, Joe Louis’s golf clubs, Rory McIlroy’s 6-iron from his 2011 U.S. Open triumph, and NASA astronaut Alan Shephard’s famous "moon shot" golf club, as well as countless artifacts and photos associated with great moments in American golf history.
The youngsters also learned about the ways the USGA determines if a piece of equipment adheres to the Rules of Golf from Senior Technical Director Dick Rugge, the head of the USGA Research and Test Center. Rugge gave demonstrations of the machines used to test new golf equipment, explained the aerodynamics of a golf ball, and taught the participants how to use the Archimedes Scale to measure the size of golf clubheads.
Finally, the excited golfers had the opportunity to roll putts alongside Snoopy using replica putters from the early 1900s on the USGA’s expansive Pynes Putting Course, which is modeled after the famous Himalayas Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.
The event was the second in a series of youth clinics conducted annually by the MGA Foundation and MetLife. The next clinic will be held in conjunction with the 97th Met Open Championship at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. on Monday, August 20th.
MetLife has been a partner of the MGA for more than 30 years and is the sponsor of eight MGA championships as well as the MGA Calendar of Competitions. MetLife has a long history of community service and supporting MGA Foundation junior golf initiatives. For more information on MGA/MetLife Youth Clinics, please contact Jeff Day of the MGA Foundation at email@example.com or 914-347-4653.