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Youth Golf Program Comes to Thunder Bay


June 3, 2008 - The Golf Association of Ontario and Callaway Golf Canada, today announced the launch of the Callaway Golf in Schools program in Thunder Bay at Corpus Christi School.

The Callaway Golf in Schools initiative will see golf incorporated into the elementary school curriculum throughout the province of Ontario for the first time. Along with the encouragement of Active 2010 and Healthy Schools, two programs delivered by the Ontario government designed to promote and increase physical activity, Callaway Golf in Schools will ensure that students are exposed to the game of golf and its benefits at an early age.

"Callaway Golf Canada was very excited to become the leading partner in this program," said Scott Reid, Managing Director of Callaway Golf Canada. "We are deeply committed to the sport at the grass-roots level. Our goal at Callaway Golf Canada has always been to make every golfer a better golfer. By having so many students exposed to this great sport at an early age, I am confident that their will be many more golfers in Ontario in the near future."

Callaway Golf in Schools aims to expose, foster and sustain a long-term presence of the sport in elementary schools and communities to encourage Ontario youth to lead an active life. It is designed to ensure that all elementary school students have a positive golf course experience before they reach high school. The program also incorporates life-skills and values such as, honesty, fair play, and respect; lessons that not only aid in achieving everyday success, but also form the foundation of the spirit of golf. Since September 2007, the program has reached 100 new schools and will make it's début in Thunder Bay this spring, with more schools able to register this fall.

"The Callaway Golf in Schools Program is one of the most exciting initiatives we have been involved in recent years," said Dave Mills, Executive Director of the Golf Association of Ontario. "The program has the potential to introduce large numbers of young men and women to the game of golf through a program that is tailored to their age and focuses on having fun. In the long-term, this will ensure an increased level of participation at our member clubs across Ontario."

Specific curriculums have been assembled with four progressive grade divisions. Students from junior kindergarten to grade four will experience an introduction to golf from Mr. Knickers and Friends during this initial stage of the program. This program allows children to fully interact with the characters developed specifically for this unique program.

The second stage of the Callaway Golf in Schools program, Stick to Golf, is designed to further develop the culture of golf. Programming focuses on developing basic golf skills for grades four to six. The third stage of the program consists of a School Cruiser Clinic, geared for grades six, seven, and eight students. This clinic is an introduction to the full golf swing in an outdoor setting.

The final step in the Callaway Golf in Schools program is Green Grass Field Trips. These half-day trips are facilitated in conjunction with the National Golf Course Owners Association at a local golf course to ensure the students have an actual on-course experience.

At all levels presentations and clinics will be taught by trained Canadian PGA members in Ontario. The program will also provide an opportunity for one teacher from each participating school to attend a National Coaching Certification Program community sport training seminar. This certification seminar is designed by the Coaching Association of Canada and is golf specific, giving teachers a better understanding of golf theory and practical elements of the sport.

The Callaway Golf in Schools program will `help kids get on course' after elementary school by offering a number of next step options, whether that be participating in a CN Future links camp, participating in the GAO's Mobile Van Program, getting a lesson from an Ontario PGA Professional, or simply just playing for fun, graduates of this program will be exposed to a game that can keep them active for a lifetime.

"We are thrilled about the Callaway Golf in the Schools program," said Tom Forsythe, Director - Golf Thunder Bay. "This program will target the future of golf and act as a nice transition from Elementary school to our other development programs."

Participating schools in Thunder Bay include: Corpus Christi - Primary, Holly Family - Primary, Pope John Paul - grades 7/8, and EQ Jennings - grades 7/8.

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Contact: Tom Forsythe, Director - Golf Thunder Bay, 625-2423
 

About the Golf Association of Ontario (GAO)
The GAO represents over 435 member clubs/groups and over 115,000 individual members. In addition to providing core services such as the Rules of Golf, Handicapping and Course Rating and Player Development, the GAO also conducts provincial championships, camps, clinics and seminars on a variety of topics. The GAO's mission is to provide leadership and promote growth and development of amateur golf throughout the Province while preserving the integrity and traditions of the game.

About Callaway Golf
Through an unwavering commitment to innovation, Callaway Golf Company creates products and services designed to make every golfer a better golfer. Callaway Golf Company, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2007, manufactures and sells golf clubs, balls and golf accessories under the Callaway Golf®, Odyssey®, Top-Flite®, and Ben Hogan® brands in more than 110 countries worldwide. For more information please visit
 www.callawaygolf.com/ca.

About Golf Thunder Bay
Golf Thunder Bay represents three City-owned golf courses in Thunder Bay including Chapples, Strathcona, and Municipal Golf Courses. Golf Thunder Bay focuses on the development of golf for all ages and abilities through various programs during the season. Additional youth golf programs include, Summer Youth Golf Camps, Future Links Golf Clinic and the Wee Links summer golf program. CPGA Golf Professional, Pat Berezowski - 626-3122, who is the clubhouse supervisor with Golf Thunder Bay will lead the program at the elementary schools. Dave Reid, Golf Development Coordinator, along with Tom Forsythe 625-2423, Director - Golf Thunder Bay will also be involved in delivering the program.