More than 1,100 attend inaugural 'Free Day of Play'

Day of Play
PGA of America
Kids 17 and under were enthusiastic as they were given golf instruction by PGA Professionals.
PGA of America

Series: PGA

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | 6:36 p.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance hosted more than 1,100 kids and adults for the inaugural "Free Day of Play" on Sat., Jan. 14, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., featuring golf, football, soccer, baseball, basketball and hockey, all in an active family-oriented environment. Kids 17 and under and their families were introduced to a number of sports, all in the spirit of encouraging healthy lifestyles. Throughout the Free Day of Play, golf stations were staffed and led by PGA Professionals, while flag football and soccer activities were organized by i9 Sports. Representatives of the St. Lucie Mets and Palm Beach Cardinals conducted baseball games and instruction, and the Sports Authority organized basketball games and drills.

Based on the Worldwide Day of Play in Washington, D.C., the Free Day of Play enabled families and children to experience a day of fun at the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance. There were a total of 16 station activities, which provided a perfect opportunity for athletes of the future to come out and learn more about and enjoy each sport. Meanwhile, there were fun family activities and contests for kids of all ages.
"The Free Day of Play at the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance was an incredible opportunity for families to gather in a fun environment, in order to promote an active lifestyle," said Bob Baldassari, The PGA of America"s senior director for Player Development and general manager of the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance. "This was a great event for every child to experience a wide variety of sports activities, in order to inspire healthy living. We enjoyed giving the St. Lucie community an unforgettable day of fun and games for kids of all ages."

Games and prizes were available to all children throughout the day, and admission was complimentary.

"I9 Sports has had an overwhelming response from the communities for our popular flag football, soccer, and basketball programs these last few years, and we are delighted to introduce more sports for the children, such as golf and baseball, thanks to the partnership with these terrific organizations," said Joe Greco, program director, i9 Sports. "Collectively, we were very excited to introduce every child to a multitude of sports, and this free day of play was a great way for every parent to get their children involved in the community with numerous first-class organizations. Sports are a great outlet for boys and girls to learn, grow, and develop their skills, which they will use forever, both on and off the fields of play."

The PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance is located at 8565 Commerce Center Drive in Port St. Lucie. For more information about the facility and its programs, contact the PGA Center Golf Learning and Performance at (800) 800-GOLF Ext. 3.

About PGA Village
The Ryder, Wanamaker and Dye Courses form a trio of world-class courses at the PGA Golf Club, at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Named by Golf Digest as one of the "75 Best Golf Resorts in North America," PGA Village also features the award-winning, 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance and the PGA Museum of Golf. PGA Golf Club exists to be one of the premier public-access resort facilities in America, complete with a Private Members Club, and also serves as the home club for our 27,000 PGA Professionals. For more information, please visit

About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: 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 PGA enables its 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 world-class championships and innovative programs, 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. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.

About i9 Sports
Nationally based in the Tampa Bay (Fla.) area, i9 Sports® is the first and fastest growing franchise of youth sports leagues, camps, and programs in the United States. With over 100,000 participants since 2003, and 100 franchise locations in 25 states, i9 Sports offers the most popular team sports for kids with a focus on fun, safety, and good sportsmanship. Because each league is individually owned and operated by carefully screened and certified local franchise owners, you"ll enjoy the many benefits of a well-organized national sports organization with a personal touch in your local community.