Total Golf Adventures (TGA) is unlike any other youth golf program. The golf classes are taught after school, at school. There's no need for a golf course or even a playground. Give TGA directors and coaches a gym, lunchroom or even a hallway, and the kids that complete this program will know more about the game of golf than most adults. They'll also learn more about the skills required to succeed in life than many of their peers.
Begun by founder and present CEO Joshua Jacobs in the Los Angeles area during the summer of 2003 as an overnight camp, the program quickly grew, as many parents expressed their desire for a program during the school year. The forward-thinking Jacobs quickly realized that there wasn't a youth golf program that brought golf to the children. In Fall 2003, Jacobs took the fledgling TGA to six schools in the Los Angeles area.
The program, which instructs children in grades K-8, has expanded to include 29 programs in 21 states across the United States. Chris Goode, owner and president of TGA of the Bluegrass, which teaches the program to kids in Lexington, Kentucky and surrounding areas, believes that the program teaches character-building skills and confidence along with the golf swing.
The TGA program has three levels designed for different ages and/or skill levels. Beginning with the younger children, it helps to develop motor skills and coordination, which are deeply embedded in the mechanics of the golf swing. At the completion of the first level, even kindergarten students make regular, solid contact with the ball. According to Goode, "You can see their tremendous growth in confidence from the beginning session to the end."
The standardized national golf curriculum ensures that each child, whether in Kentucky or Connecticut, is taught the same fundamentals. Along with the physical aspects of golf, children learn how to keep score, how to report rule violations, terminology and golf etiquette that is so important to the game. The kids learn character by learning the reasons behind the rules and etiquette and how to implement the same principles at home, school and everywhere.
The burning question may be, "How do they play golf in a hallway?" Simple. First, under the supervision of a coach or director, only two children hold a club. Even when not the person swinging the club, each child has their own responsibility, which ensures that each is active at all times. TGA's teaching methods, youth golf clubs and "soft" golf balls that are conducive to indoor golf and outdoor play ensure a highly safe environment conducive to learning the many aspects of the game.
The at-school nature of the TGA program gives it the potential to reach many children in areas not conducive to learning the game. The near personal instruction also makes TGA attractive to children who normally would not be active in sports. The benefits to participants and parents alike will be experienced for a lifetime.
To find a Total Golf Adventures program nearby, learn about employment, or how to begin a TGA program, visit their website at www.totalgolfadventures.com. Look for a profile of TGA of the Bluegrass, one of TGA's best success stories, in the coming weeks.