Bethpage State Park Sees Influx of Youth on Course Rounds
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (February 1, 2024) – Since 2018, the MGA has partnered with Youth on Course to provide juniors with affordable access to golf courses and facilities throughout the Met Area. Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., participates in the program, welcoming Youth on Course members to its five golf courses.
Youth on Course is a national organization that provides junior players with discounted access ($5 or less) at partner courses. Juniors age 18 and under can join Youth on Course through the MGA for affordable access to more than 30 courses across the Met Area. A Youth on Course membership also includes an MGA membership (an official USGA Handicap ID, and full MGA member benefits), career readiness resources, and scholarship opportunities.
"We knew the program was popular, but didn't anticipate the number of rounds we got,” Bethpage’s head golf professional Justin Koff says. “It speaks volumes to the game's growth, and seeing so many [kids playing] is great. We hope it continues growing and more players take advantage of the incredible opportunity."
One of the busiest golf facilities in the Met Area, more than 200,000 rounds are annually played across the five courses at Bethpage. Bethpage expects 2024 to be another successful and busy season for the facility ahead of hosting the Ryder Cup on the Black Course in 2025. The facility continues to support local golf on all levels, annually hosting the Long Island Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship on the Red Course and the LIGA Michael Hebron Championship on the Red Course. The Red Course was also the 2023 host of the MGA Public Links Championship, while the 2022 Met Open Championship was played on the Black Course.
"We’re set for 2024 to be another great year at Bethpage. We want to continue the partnership and grow the game so more rounds are played," added Koff. "Many of the juniors participating in our Academy at Bethpage continue to utilize the Youth on Course program, and it helps juniors develop relationships where they can find friends to play with outside [the program]."
"It's important for public courses to partner with organizations like Youth on Course to continue to help grow the game," says Koff. According to Youth on Course, 85% of families say the program makes it possible for them to afford the cost of golf for their children. “We all know that golf can be an expensive game, but being able to play for $5 can be a huge help to families of juniors wanting to play a lot,” says Koff.
With more juniors able to play more affordable rounds, a Youth on Course membership provides an opportunity for juniors (and their parents) to spend more time at the golf course, a benefit for the participating courses as they strive to reach new golfers. A Youth on Course membership is a great way to introduce a beginner to the game and provides an opportunity for young golfers to become comfortable out on the golf course.
As the spring approaches in the Met Area, click here to learn more about a Youth on Course membership, and reach out to the MGA’s Lou Cutolo for further information.