Ninth Annual Take Your Daughter to the Course Week

Take Your Daughter to the Course WeekCHARLESTON, S.C. - The National Golf Course Owners Association's Take Your Daughter to the Course Week encourages family bonding over a favorite past time while helping close the gender gap between the number of boys and girls playing the game.

The ninth annual Take Your Daughter to the Course Week, July 7-13, is among the programs offered under the Play GolfAmerica banner, an industry-wide initiative to increase participation. 

More than 1,500 golf courses nationwide are expected to participate in Take Your Daughter to the Course Week this year. Participating facilities offer free greens fees and instructional clinics to junior girls who are accompanied by a paying adult.

"It's the perfect opportunity for parents to introduce golf to their daughters and to bring the family together for a fun afternoon on the course," says Mike Hughes, CEO of the NGCOA. "With a strong introduction like this, golf can become an important part of the family's time together."

Fathers have long brought sons to the course to school them in the game, but recent years have seen an increase in both fathers and mothers bringing daughters along as well.

"There is not a bit of difference between starting a boy and a girl golfing other than perception by parents," says Suzy Whaley, the teaching professional at the Tournament Players Club at River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. "Many fathers today are bringing their daughters to the course earlier, but there are still too many fathers only bringing sons."

Boys make up the vast majority (84 percent) of junior golfers while girls are just 16 percent of all golfers between 12 and 17 years of age, according to the National Golf Foundation. NGF statistics also show that seven of 10 junior golfers come from a household where at least one parent plays the game, making mom and dad key links to getting young players involved in the sport.

Take Your Daughter to the Course Week hopes to shrink the gender difference while promoting golf as a family activity. Last year, more than 84,000 junior girls and accompanying adults participated in the weeklong event.

"This program is an easy way for golf facilities to increase play in their communities and to introduce thousands of young players to a game they will enjoy for a lifetime," says Hughes.

Take Your Daughter to the Course week is part of Play Golf America's Family Golf Month promotion that encourages families to enjoy the game together. Golfing enthusiasts and Grammy Award winners Vince Gill and Amy Grant, along with daughter Corrina, are the July program's spokesfamily.

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