Youth On Course Taking Off In Met Area
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (February 3, 2023) -- As part of the continued mission to grow the game of golf, the MGA Foundation is celebrating the opportunities provided for juniors with a Youth on Course Membership. YOC members played over 3,500 rounds this season in the Metropolitan Area, almost 600 more than last year. As the YOC program grows both nationally and, in the Met Area, so to do the stories of how golf has helped shape young lives. This season, we talked to numerous golfers who shared how the sport has become a source of fun, a way to bond with friends, and in some cases even a chance at a better future. Below we highlight three of the many young faces who benefitted from a Youth on Course membership.
Related: Youth on Course
AJ Dahlk, 16 Years Old
AJ Dahlk came to America when he was 10 years old. His grandfather taught him how to play golf and from there he became enthralled with the game. Dahlk says he got good at the game quickly and wanted an extra challenge, so he decided to start competing. Dahlk had to practice frequently to get better and that’s where his Youth on Course membership helped out. Dahlk says that through the help from Youth on Course he was “able to practice enough to make the the varsity golf team when he was in seventh grade.” Dahlk is a tremendous golfer, making All League, All County and All State in 2021. He was the Met PGA 2021 player of the year in the 15-18 age group as well.
Dahlk says that outside of the competition, he has learned valuable life lessons and also made strong relationships. Leadership, honestly and sportsmanship are just a few of the many traits that golf has helped instill in him thus far. AJ said that quite simply, YOC helped him afford to play golf and it changed his life.
He is hoping to play college golf in 2025 after he completes his time on the high school golf team. Dahlk said, “thanks to all of the generous people at YOC for their kindness and generosity, it has changed my life.”
Jake Fish, 14 Years Old
Jake Fish is one of many stories we heard which prominently featured a parent introducing their son or daughter. Jake was introduced by his father, Neal, who has been playing for many years. The two now play together frequently at Saxon Woods Golf Course in Scarsdale, N.Y. Saxon Woods is one of many courses in the area which support the Youth on Course program, of which Jake has been a part of for just under two years.
This past year, Jake was the top golfer on the New Rochelle High School varsity team. In addition he participated in 10 junior PGA tournaments. During one of those events at Bethpage Yellow, Jake shot an impressive round of 83.
“He loves the game and is always excited to play as much as he can, it never seems to get old,” said Neal.
Neal also said he is very happy Jake took up the sport because not only is it fun to share time with him on the course and for Jake to be part of a team in high school, but additionally because of how many life lessons golf will be able to teach him.
Lucas Collins-Fuchs, 13 Years Old
Lucas is one of the newer members to Youth on Course, becoming a member less than one year ago. He learned about the program through the First Tee at Mosholu and the Program Director there, Anthony Rodriguez.
Though he hasn’t been a member long. Lucas was still playing golf beforehand as part of the First Tee program. When he signed up for YOC, his golf experience became easier and more affordable. He says one of his favorite parts of the program is the ease and lack of expense when it comes to getting a tee time.
Lucas also noted that his favorite part of golf is the cerebral part and noted that his favorite thing to do is think his way around a course. He said “golf has really taught me how to think and plan ahead both on the course and in my life as well.”
He has recommended YOC to many of his friends because he said he wants everyone who loves to play the game to do so as much as possible. With Youth on Course he hopes that more people decide to try golf.
AJ, Jake and Lucas are a few of the many stories we received this season and show the growth of golf across the Met Area and in the younger generation. As YOC continues to help grow the game, here in the Met Area we are excited to hear more and more from young golfers who are finding their place in golf.