The Vintage Club

Introducing young people to the game is a priority for the California Alliance for Golf

Expanding the appeal of golf – especially to young people – was a key topic of discussion at the recent Annual Meeting of the California Alliance for Golf at Red Hill CC in Rancho Cucamonga.

“We had a lengthy discussion on growing the game and how we all have to ally together on that,” said SCGA Executive Director Kevin Heaney, who is secretary of the CAG Board of Directors.

The primary focus of the discussion was on “Golf 2.0,” a multi-million-dollar initiative of the PGA of America that resolves to be more creative in luring newcomers to golf and making the game more appealing once players take it up.

The PGA has determined that there are nearly 80 million Americans who say they are interested in playing golf, creating a major incentive for the golf industry to join forces and deliver new and compelling programs and services.

The SCGA strongly supports the initiative, said Heaney, who added: “I think one of the best approaches is to have golf as part of the school curricula, so that young people are introduced to it at an early age. But along with that, you have to have places for them to go at a reasonable price, so that once they learn the game they have a place to play.”

Another key component of the meeting was a legislative update by SCGA Governmental Affairs Director Craig Kessler. He discussed bills that the California Legislature passed in 2011 and is expected to take up in 2012 on topics that would impact the golf industry.

Kessler also updated the directors on regulations regarding fish stocking pending before the California Fish and Game Commission, the status of legislative amendments pending before certain water districts and providers, the Center for Biological Diversity’s endangered species lawsuit against the city and county of San Francisco over the Sharp Park Municipal Golf Course, and the service tax issue, which promises to be the subject of a November 2012 ballot initiative.

CAG endorsed moving forward with formal letters of opposition to the proposed fish stocking regulations and support of the Sharp Park Historical Designation petition.

This was the first Annual Meeting held by the California Alliance for Golf since it adopted new bylaws in May and established committees for finance, fundraising, membership, communications and policy. The committees are looking into different aspects of membership, funding and the prospective role of the Alliance.

“By changing the infrastructure and focus of CAG, we have reinvigorated our efforts,” Heaney said.