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The Playground Golf Foundation is a local non Profit and 501(c)3 whose mission statement is to introduce golf in schools to children who may never thought about golf as an option in a fun and safe environment. Our purpose is to provide golf as and option to all children, including those that are underprivileged, handicapped or terminally ill. This introduction will impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs delivered by trained PGA Professionals that teach children the values of integrity, honesty, life skills and promoting the growth of the game.
This training is open to all physical educators in the Columbia, Greene, Northern Dutchess and the Capital District of Albany. Lucas Cohen is a member of the Northeastern New York PGA section led 8 golf in schools programs in the Hudson Valley with the assistance the physical educators in: Germantown Central School District, Catskill Elementary School, Cairo Durham Middle School, Taconic Hills Central School District, Hudson City School District, Greenville Elementary, New Lebanon Central School District in 2019 alone. Working hand in hand with fellow golf professional and volunteers: Stephanie Molloy, Doug Wiltsie, Brian Lowe, Gerard Ecker, Tony Vizzie Sr. Keyanna Gaylord, Austin Joseph to make these programs so successful.
The PGF is looking to train physical educators to improve the Golf in Schools Program so that the equipment can be used safely and properly after this certification is complete.
Please share this event with all fellow athletic directors, physical educators and coaches who would like to complete the training. Suggested donation per school is $50 per trainee. The Playground Golf Foundation does not charge the host schools to come in and work with the children. All golf in schools programs are funded by donations and fundraisers that are created and hosted at the New York Golf Park, Copake Country Club and The Greens Restaurant, Blackhead Mountain Lodge and Country Club, Thunderhart Golf Course at Sunny Hill, Catskill Golf Club and other supporters of the PGF Mission.
Project Analysis
A community-based junior golf program called “Hudson City School District Golf in Schools Program” (HSCDGISP) will be established in Hudson, the neighboring town schools of the HSCD will be participating in the program. HSCDGISP will focus on providing golf instruction to the physical education teachers at each of these educational facilities: John L. Edwards, Montgomery C. Smith, Hudson Junior and Senior High School. This demographic of New York has some considerable low income areas and this program will offer golf to children who might not ever have another chance to try the game of golf. It is expected that through the training of how to teach golf to the physical education teachers that it will be possible to have a direct and positive effect on the growth of the game in the young children of the community.
HSCDGISP will utilize a PGA golf professional who specializes in teaching golf to children and adults alike. Physical education teachers at the schools will be expected to successfully participate in a training program at the beginning of their work with HSCDGISP. This training program will provide basic information on golf instruction for educators and information on junior golf teaching methods. PE Teachers who demonstrate proficiency during the initial training program will be trained on the fundamentals and importance of the grip, posture alignment and ball position for each and every segment of the game. Techniques for putting, short game, full swing, rules and etiquette will be covered in the training sessions.

Each PE Teacher will be expected to dedicate a minimum of 3-4 weeks during the school year to golf instruction utilizing the training and equipment provided by the HSCDGISP.

HSCDGISP will operate with 1 or 2 trained PGA Professional and the Physical Education Teachers. In addition, it would be ideal to schedule some dates in order to transport the students to and from a driving range or a golf course in an afterschool program to students who are interested in perusing further golf knowledge.

Each year evaluations and follow ups with the schools will be conducted to assess the value of HSCDGISP on

  • a) helping the PE Teachers to become effective golf educators,
  • b) the development of new understandings on the part of the junior golfers in the program and
  • c) the improvement of the participation levels in junior golf activities in the schools and the local junior golf events.
Background Information /
Statement of Problem
M ajor obstacles to children developing into junior golfers include lack of: funds, knowledge, quality golf equipment, interest and a misunderstanding that golf is a game for old people. The problem is that often times, children do not have access to any golf related activities. Many of these children have never even been to a golf course or a driving range in their lives. Though several public golf courses and practice facilities are available in the towns, it is apparent that children and their parents do not have an understanding of exactly what how accessible most golf facilities are to them and the value available for their children.

The most significant person in the life of the young golfer is the first person to introduce the game to them. Research has shown that the children of parents who have an understanding of how to provide golf related activities to their children stand a significantly greater chance continuing to play golf into the later years of their lives as compared with children of parents who do not provide golf related activities. (Recognizing Your Child’s Potential in Golf-From Frank Mantua, Director of Golf, US Golf Camps, Guide)

An additional challenge to growth of golf in schools is the lack of quality golf equipment. Currently the schools that wish to participate in the program have very limited equipment. The equipment that they are using consists of hand me down clubs. These clubs are ineffective for teaching golf since they are too heavy for a junior golfer and this promotes frustration. Even though the clubs are available they are typically old, the grips are worn and simply stated, the equipment is inferior to what is available to the junior golfer today. We will utilize SNAG golf equipment.

SNAG Golf Equipment is Starting New at Golf: Teaching and Building Fundamental Golf Skills in and outdoors. SNAG® Golf (‘Starting New At Golf’) is the best first touch program to effectively teach the game of golf to people of all ages and ability levels. SNAG® Golf offers the versatility to learn and play in almost any environment you choose.

The use of PE teachers to provide golf instruction is a new concept in growing the game and can be capitalized upon as a viable way to provide an introduction of golf through educational services. The HSCDGISP is being created to initially operate in the local schools of the Hudson, NY area. This program will operate through training PE teachers proper golf skills by their host PGA professional and their facility. The emphasis of providing the golf training sessions and instructional materials to all educational facilities in the Hudson area will increase interest and growth in the game of golf. The selection and training of student educators is conducted primarily at each school with the support of the PGA instructor and instructional materials (equipment) provided by the Playground Golf Foundation.

Project Details

Goals and Objectives

There are 3 main goals for the (HSCDGISP) project and specific objectives within each of the goals. The ultimate goal is to grow the game of golf through new fun and exciting junior golf programs provided at the elementary and middle school level.

Goal #1 – To educate physical education teachers on how to teach golf effectively and safely to the children in their gym classes

  • Objective #1.1 – To provide relevant training information regarding golf safety, etiquette, error correction (2/3 sessions minimum)
  • Objective #1.2 – To assist teachers in learning how to effectively apply their training in helping their young children to be enthusiastic about golf
  • Objective #1.3 – To teach how to evaluate a junior golfers’ basic setup and swing for each and every shot and to help the children make necessary changes in order to improve.

Goal #2 – To effectively utilize the PGA Professional and the host facility as a major resource in exposing juniors to the game of golf and green grass facilities

  • Objective #2.1 – To schedule a time that the PGA professional can come give a golf specific presentation in the schools’ auditorium or gymnasium
  • Objective #2.2 – To provide a practice facility that can be utilized by the junior golfers in the HSCDGISP
  • Objective #2.3 – To place the students in the HSCDGISP in manageable groups that can learn effectively
  • Objective #2.4 – To compare the HSCDGISP with other junior golf programs in the nation to increase participation, excitement and productivity

Goal #3 – To provide necessary equipment (SNAG) and introduce the game of golf to children who might never have the opportunity to even touch a golf club in the early stages of learning and development

  • Objective #3.1 – Supply the schools in the HSCDGISP with up-to-date equipment that will allow them to teach golf properly for several years to come
  • Objective #3.2 – Follow up with schools each and every season to ensure that they are continuing the golf education portion of the HSCDGISP
  • Objective #3.3 – Continue to train and introduce new methods of making golf fun to juniors with games, drills and practice activities
  • Objective #3.4 – Keep schools in the loop with outside junior golf activities that are being provided at the local golf facilities

There are three different clientele groups for this project.

  1. The first, and primary, clientele are the Physical Education Teachers of young children who live in the immediate area. This clientele group is represented in the project objectives for Goal #1.
  2. The second clientele group is the PGA Professional and the host facility that will provide expertise and a site that will introduce the junior golfers to the game in the most effective manner possible. This clientele group is represented in the project objectives in Goal#2.
  3. The third clientele group is the students at local elementary and middle schools who will participate in the Project as a part of the physical education program at their school. This clientele group is represented in the project objectives for Goal #3.

All clientele groups are important and essential components of this project. It is expected that significant learning will take place for all clientele groups.


The primary methods for achieving the goals and objectives of the Project will be:

  • The creation of Playground Golf Foundation will become a focal point for providing information on golf instruction for young children through workshops and one-on- one counseling of physical education teachers, and
  • The development of a training program and supervised practicum for student volunteers that is modeled after the golf in schools programs that are in place and have been developed by The First Tee.

In addition, a Documentation / Dissemination Plan will be developed by staff to guarantee the systematic collection of information about the operation of the Project and provide the basis for sharing information with other similar projects.

Staff / Administration

The Project will utilize PGA Professionals and Physical Education teachers who are willing to devote the allotted times on a voluntary basis.

  • PGA Instructor – Responsible for selecting project willing schools and physical education teachers to: overseeing project development and operation, establish and maintain links with the Projects goals and objectives. The PGA Professional will be Lucas Cohen, PGA (author of this proposal)
  • Physical Educators – Responsible for implementing the training provided by the PGA Professional to developing working relationships with the children who attend the gym classes at their school(s), establishing links to community golf facilities and organizations that are or could become affiliated with the golf in schools program.
  • Volunteers – Any parents or teacher assistants would be responsible for maintaining safety and etiquette, developing and offering training programs for volunteers, scheduling volunteers for service at the outside events. The Volunteer Coordinator will have a background in physical education, be passionate about teaching the youth of today and have a desire to learn the game of golf.
Available Resources
  • Buildings – Any open Field or Gymnasium will be provided by the host school. Gymnasiums can be used to teach a form of mini or snag golf during the winter months.
  • Volunteer – Presentations with video analysis in the gymnasium with projectors provided by the schools’ administration
  • Equipment – Cones, hula-hoops used for targets, wiffle balls, tennis balls
Needed Resources


Coaching Kit Learn and Play Large – All Ages

The Large Group “Learn & Play” Kit gives the instructor or facility to safely introduce golf to 16-32 new SNAGsters at one time. PLUS we’ve added the “Play” component for setting up a 6 hole SNAG Course. This kit is perfect for those instructors or facilities who want to integrate teaching with playing for groups of varying age (ages 5 to adult).

The Learn & Play Kit includes the following:

  • 42 launchers – 14 Launchers (12 right, 2 left) of each size (26’, 30’ and 34”) equaling 42 launchers
  • 8 Rollers of each size (26’, 30’ and 34”) equaling 24 rollers
  • 12 Launch Pads
  • 4 FlagstickyTargets
  • 200 SNAG balls
  • 4 RolleramaTargets
  • 2 BullseyeTargets
  • 4 Snapper Training Tools
  • 4 SNAGazooTraining Tools
  • 4 Roller Brush Training Tools
  • 4 SNAG-O-MaticTraining Tools
  • 16 Hoop Clocks
  • 2 Equipment Carriers
  • Training Manuals
  • Instructional Videos


  • 1 Scoring Zone
  • 2 extra FlagstickyTargets
  • 1 SNAG-A-Feature
  • 3 extra SNAG-A Greens

SNAG Golf Scoring Zones allow Pros to train new learners to become more accurate in their practice and performance in all aspects of the game. The Scoring Zones focus on “where” to play based on distance. Scoring Zones provide the visual stimuli needed to learn which shot to play based upon distance from the hole (Flagsticky). A SNAG hole is set up in colorful zones with each of the shots written out on a marker to instruct the new learner on which shot to play from that distance. This helps develop the necessary course management skills early in the learning process. Spots and arrows are used to depict the various zones.

SNAG Golf $4,495.00
PGA Instruction ($20-50per hour) $400 – $1,000

The cost of the equipment is a one-time cost
PGA Instructor Trains PE teachers, delivers program annual cost.

Evaluation Plan

Project evaluation will be the responsibility of the host professional remaining in contact with the sponsored schools and in continued training with the physical education teachers and volunteers.

Formative Evaluation – Primarily qualitative in nature, the formative evaluation will be conducted through interviews and open-ended questionnaires. Physical Educators and student volunteers will be asked about the day-to-day operation of the Golf in Schools before and during the spring and fall golf in schools sessions, the topics covered in the training program, the quality of the golf equipment, and other questions to provide feedback for the ongoing improvement of the operation of the Project. The PGA Professional will communicate regularly with Physical Educators to share findings from the formative evaluation effort. Periodic reports will be prepared that identify the major findings of the formative evaluation and how they have been used to improve Project operation.

Summative Evaluation – Primarily quantitative in nature, the summative evaluation will begin with the establishment of the golf in schools program goals at the beginning of the Project. Data for the summative evaluation will focus on the two primary goals of the project and the objectives of each.

Goal #1

  • Pre/post tests of knowledge on error correction in the setup including but not limited to (Objective 1.1)
  • Selected interviews of all PE Teacher to assess their ability to effectively apply the training they have received from the PGA Professional (Objective 1.2)
  • Selected interviews of parents to evaluate the interest in golf from their child (Objective 1.3)

Goal #2

  • Records of number of students involved in the project (Objective 2.1)
  • Documentation of agendas/attendance rosters from all training programs (Objective 2.1)
  • Documentation of number of Physical Education classes that focused specifically on golf and number of volunteers needed for the program to be effective (Objective 2.3)
  • Comparative analysis of Goal #2 data with similar data from Golf in Schools Programs being run in other States and PGA Sections

A yearly report will be issued that presents the formative and summative findings

APPENDIX A / Plan of Action

I. Recruiting

  • Advertising of Playground Golf Foundation to staff positions to local physical education teachers
  • Interviews with teachers, PGA Professionals
  • Meeting with school and host facility administration

II. Training Sessions

  • Safety
  • Rules and etiquette on and off the golf course Importance of the proper setup
  • Error Correction
  • What to teach / techniques
  • Positions that are crucial for improvement

III. Scheduling

  • Training Sessions (PE Teachers with PGA Professional)
  • PGA Professional visits each of the sponsored schools
  • Schools coordinate times to bring the juniors to host facility
  • PE Teachers communicate the weeks and number of class periods will be dedicated to the golf in schools program during the spring and fall

IV. Curriculum Testing and Written Materials

  • Physical educators will be tested on the information covered in training sessions
  • Junior golfers will be given a basic test on safety, etiquette, club types and the object of the game
  • Junior golfers will also be tested on their abilities with basic skills challenges

V. Evaluation

  • Conducting of regular formative evaluation
  • Summarization of equipment utilization and project goals prior to the fall sessions
  • Final summative evaluation at end spring golf in schools program
Instructional Segments

Stations will be built into three segments:

  1. Putting
  2. Chipping and Pitching
  3. Full Swing

Depending on whether the class is held outdoor or in a gymnasium the stations will be structured in the following manner. There are 3 segments that will focus on Putting, Short Game and Full Swing. Students will all sit for a demonstration of what to do in the three stations and will rotate through the station in equal group sizes for equal amounts of time.

Demonstrations of each segment will be performed by the lead PGA / Playground Golf Foundation Professional / Physical Educator

  • TOE to TOE Swings: Putting station should be short in length. Can be done in a line day 1 and/or made a miniature golf course. Course should be routed in a loop and kids can play 6/12/18 holes during the time at the putting station. Little swings
  • KNEE to KNEE or WAIST to WAIST Swings: Stations should be no more than 15- 20 feet from the intended SNAG targets. Club should never pass the waist on the backswing or the follow through. Medium swings
  • SHOULDER to SHOULDER Swings: In the full swing station, students will be required to transfer their weigh to a well balanced finish position. This position represents strength and balance with weight completely transferred to the front foot.
Program Implementation

1. Setting up the Stations

  • Left handed players should be grouped together & play from the far RH side
  • Set a row of cones 5-10 feet behind hitting stalls for safety
  • Each hitting stall should be 8-10 feet wide
  • Students should stand in a hula hoop or a ring when hitting
  • One club should be placed inside the ring
  • Targets should be placed in a driving range setting
  • Small buckets with 5-10 snag balls at each station

2. Demonstration

  • The object of the game (getting the ball in the hole)
  • Always swinging at a target
  • Ball position (always in the center of the stance)
  • Grip thumbs down on the colored dots of the SNAG Equipment
  • Holding the finish position for each stroke

3. Coaching

  • Ask the student what they are aiming at
  • Adjust grip and ball position
  • Practice swings prior to hitting (hold and count to 5)
  • Ball position in the middle
  • Toe to toe, knee to knee, shoulder to shoulder
  • Hold and count to five

SNAG golf equipment can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications. In the third or fourth week of implementation a SNAG golf course can be made. During this segment you have to have an adult supervisor with each group for safety purposes and etiquette. Kids cannot walk in front of one another.

If there is an interest in the children to continue golf training a field trip to a local driving range should be arranged with the physical educators and the local PGA professionals in the area. That way when the child is introduced to the actual golf facility he is familiar with the host golf professional. This introduction to the sport utilizing motivated PGA/PGF Instructors, Physical Educators and Volunteers is truly the best way to grow the game and increase participation, memberships and rounds of golf for the future of the game.

This is my dream and example proposal for any school in Columbia, Greene Counties and beyond.

Let's discuss setting up a PGF Golf in Schools Program at your facility...

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