In an event that will showcase the best of golf for children, junior golfers and experienced players, Gaillardia Country Club will host the South Central Professional Golfers Association Pro-Am Aug. 16-17 at Gaillardia CC, 5300 Gaillardia Blvd, in Oklahoma City. And in the process, they hope to "SNAG" new golfers with entertainment from trick shot artist Kevin Compare and magician Kevin Dawson, "The Jolly Jester."
The tournament, which features pro and amateur rounds, is designed to showcase the sport at all levels of play and raise funds for SNAG (Starting New at Golf), an innovative and fun learning system designed to teach young children the basic skills and joys of golf. In partnership with the Greater Oklahoma City YMCA, the South Central PGA is building financial support to install SNAG systems in all 9 Oklahoma City YMCA locations.
"Both of my children participate in YMCA youth sports, and I am always amazed at the number of parents and kids at the soccer fields, gymnasiums, and baseball fields on weeknights and weekends," said Peter Vitali, president of the South Central PGA and vice president of business development at Gaillardia CC.
"It can be difficult to bring kids to a course when they are unfamiliar with golf, but a SNAG program in every YMCA outlet would bring the game of golf directly to them," Vitali said. "Because the YMCA is inclusive and its mission is to serve kids from all backgrounds and families of all income levels, it is the perfect springboard for early development in golf programs. It is my belief that, with a successful launch of this program at YMCAs in Oklahoma City this year, it will become the model for SNAG in YMCAs nationwide and for the elementary school PE curriculum."
The event begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 16 with an "open house" featuring performances by Compare and Dawson, a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions and a keynote speech from Paul Levy, secretary of the PGA of America.
The shotgun start for the Pro-Am fires off at 9 a.m. Sunday, August 17 with one SCPGA and three amateur rounds, with lunch at the Turn Club and SNAG demonstrations and awards following play. Registration is $750 for teams, $250 for individuals or $50 for the Saturday event only. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Vitali said that one of his ongoing missions as president of the SCPGA is "growing the game of golf," and this Pro-Am event and SNAG can help recruit new players to the game.
"Our target financial goal to implement SNAG in every OKC YMCA facility is $35,000, and we help to continue to "grow the game," but most importantly to make it more accessible and fun," Vitali said.
For more information, go to www.gaillardia.com or southcentral.pga.com, or call (405) 302-2800.