GAO announces new youth (U13) NXTee program

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UXBRIDGE, Ont. — The Golf Association of Ontario (GAO), Golf Canada and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport are proud to announce the implementation of a new junior golf initiative: the NXTee youth (U13) golf x-perience.

The NXTee pilot program has been created to increase the development and engagement of junior golfers, aged 8-13 in the York Region, by providing them with an opportunity to continue to practice and increase their skills throughout the winter. The program prepares participants for the golf season in a fun and friendly environment.

“We want to be able to look at the NXTee x-perience as being able to inspire and enhance the development of kids at the club level,” said Doug Lawrie, NXTee Lead Coach. “We need to have that junior coach and leader at the club to inspire kids to learn and show them how simple it is to learn the game of golf. I think this program will help create structure to get everyone on the same page.”

A key strategy for the program aims to educate parents and increase awareness about junior golf pathways and the necessary next steps for their junior golfer.

“The GAO is truly excited to launch this important project as we work to strengthen our support for communities, families and clubs across Ontario,” added Mike Kelly, Managing Director, Sport. “NXTee is focused on enhancing engagement for parents and kids in the sport of golf while making new friends and having fun.”

The program includes: two outdoor skills challenges, one in the fall followed by another in the spring; two indoor training sessions during the winter; two parent education seminars; and proper rules and etiquette training.

“The GAO NXTee x-perience has been designed using scientific principles of long-term athlete development (LTAD),” said Dr. Peter Davis, GAO LTAD Consultant. “It is designed to help children improve their skills and enjoy their golf game using age-appropriate coaching and also for parents to understand how their children can best enjoy and develop their golf game through appropriate support.”

Locations for the Skills Challenges will be at Cardinal Golf Club (King), Copper Creek Golf Club (Kleinburg), Bushwood Golf Club (Markham), Lakeridge Links Golf Club (Whitby) and St. Andrews Valley Golf Club (Aurora) and will take place October 18-19. Each club will host a three-hour skills challenge on both days. The second skills challenge will take place in April 2015.

After the skills challenges, participants will sign up for winter training sessions. The winter training sessions will be held at The Golf Lab, in Vaughan.

During the winter training sessions, parent education seminars will also take place. The seminars are designed to offer parents insight and knowledge into the world of junior golf, competitive or recreational pathways, long-term player development and strategies to improve their child’s golf development.