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The kids kick it off

Senior PGA Championship Week will kick off Monday with a PGA Community Relations Golf Clinic at Shawnee Golf Course. Nearly 200 youngsters will receive lessons and enjoy other activities.

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Many children take up the game of golf after enjoying their experience at a PGA Community Relations Golf Clinic. (Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America)

LOUISVILLE – Nearly 200 youngsters representing five Metro Parks Community Centers, The First Tee of Louisville and junior golf programs throughout Greater Louisville will gather Monday, May 23, at 5:00 p.m., for a PGA Community Relations Golf Clinic at Shawnee Golf Course.

The clinic, which kicks off a busy week at the 72nd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid week, May 24-29, at Valhalla Golf Club, will feature expert golf instruction by both Kentucky and Indiana PGA Professionals, a trick shot program by PGA Honorary Member Dennis Walters of Jupiter, Fla.; along with a PGA Sports Academy segment guided by PGA Director of Fitness David Donatucci.

Shawnee Golf Course, positioned near the Ohio River at 460 Northwestern Parkway, is home to The First Tee of Louisville and annually hosts 2,000 youngsters representing the Greater Louisville school system. The clinic is not open to the general public.

“We have been fortunate over the past 15 years in our Section to have hosted some significant golf events in Louisville,” said Kentucky PGA Executive Director Mark Hill. “As a result of those high-profile events, we have had PGA Community Relations program events that have aided in spreading the value of golf to juniors and their families, and the success stories have been tremendous.”

Craig Heibert, in his seventh year as the PGA head professional at Shawnee Golf Course, said that the fitness element installed in the PGA Sports Academy curriculum was a catalyst for his program.

“We took the fitness element a step further this past winter,” said Heibert. “We got a local medical clinic involved and collaborated with PGA Professionals that proved to be very popular and tied all the groups in our program together.”

Since 1996, some 270 youth-focused charities within the Kentuckiana area have benefited from The PGA’s championships, receiving approximately $2.2 million to assist their causes. Approximately 1,050 youngsters with different levels of physical abilities have participated in youth golf clinics conducted during these championships, many of whom were enrolled in the Louisville Urban Youth Golf Program, The First Tee and other local junior golf programs to continue developing their playing skills.

More information about the participating organizations and contacts in the PGA Community Relations Program may be found by visiting www.pgafoundation.org

About The PGA of America
Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.

By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry.

By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.