It started Monday but lasts all week, it's the annual "Bring Your Family to the Course" week.
Sponsored by the Minnesota Golf Council and supported by the Minnesota Golf Association, "Bring Your Family to the Course" was launched state-wide Monday to get families of all generations involved in the game.
The event runs to July 17 and allows players 18 and under to golf for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
The "Bring Your Family to the Course" week is part of the "Grow the Game" program. The program is presented by the MGC, whose goals include increasing golf rounds played, introducing new players to the game and getting those who play to play more often.
Brainerd lakes area courses participating in the event include:
* Deacon's Lodge in Breezy Point (218) 562-6262
* Emily Greens Golf Course in Emily (218) 763-2169
* Fiddlestix Golf Course in Isle (320) 676-3636
* The Pines and Garden Courses at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa (218) 963-0001
* The Preserve at Grand View Lodge in Pequot Lakes (218) 568-4944
* Wildwedge Family Golf Park in Pequot Lakes (218) 568-6995.
The MGA Web site has a list of all courses participating in the week-long program.
"With Grand View already so family-oriented, we just wanted to extend our golf to families from the area and those that come up but don't stay here," said Pines assistant golf professional Matt Wood. "Getting more families in golf is very important to us. Anything we can do to get families to spend time together, whether it's on the golf course or doing something else, the better it is for everyone. It also gives us a chance to promote our golf courses."
Along with the free round of golf, Grand View Lodge is offering golf lessons for entire families for $50. The offer is good with any of their PGA or LPGA professionals.
"Eric Peterson and Joni Meyer, our PGA and LPGA professionals, just decided to do something extra," said Wood. "We sat around thinking of something extra we could provide and family lessons seemed like the best idea.
"We love doing family lessons or clinics as we do a lot with families staying at the lodge. This way we're available to anyone who wants to try it."
This week is essentially the motto of Wildwedge Golf Course north of Pequot Lakes. The course's niche is beginning golfers and families.
The same could be said for Emily Greens.
"Golf is something the kids will enjoy for the rest of their lives," said Emily Greens PGA professional Josh Markie. "They can play this game until they're 95 years old.
"It's also just a great way to spend time together that's real affordable. It's something parents and kids can do together for a long time. It's just a great way for families to have some quality, recreational time together."
Markie said Emily Greens has already seen a great response. He said in general the course has seen an increase in junior golfers this season.
"Our junior clinics are being well attended and we have more juniors out here on a daily basis," said Markie. "Emily Greens has great junior rates seven days a week and a junior membership is only $150 so we're trying to do everything we can to get more kids involved in golf."
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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