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From TV to real life, Youth on Course has made all the difference for this Michigan family

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Melendez family of golfers from Ann Arbor first discovered about Youth on Course from a tv industrial.

Further investigation satisfied Tori and Robert that it was excellent for their three {golfing} youngsters, Amaya, Mia and Robbie, and finally they had been directed to the Golf Association of Michigan web site ( to register and begin paying $5 or much less per spherical for their younger golfers to play at taking part golf programs.

“It’s had great impact for us because with this junior golf program you can go out across the country and play,” mentioned Tori. “Sometimes it is hard to justify paying when there are not junior rates like these, especially with little kids who get tired or are just beginning.

“Youth on Course provides access to courses, the flexibility to diversify golf experiences, and it’s really great for kids who play in tournaments. It helps with the costs. In addition to tournaments, where you have tournament fees, there are practice rounds and playing different kinds of courses to help be ready for competition and just rounds for fun. Our kids are hooked. They love to play. Those things can add up quickly without Youth on Course.”

The Melendez children, Amaya, 18, Mia, 14 and Robbie, 9, are three of the present 3,280 (as of May 10) Youth on Course members in Michigan the place the taking part programs are backed a negotiated fee by way of the GAM Foundation. Since December, 911 new Michigan members have joined. In comparability, 2019 numbers in Michigan totaled simply 844 members.

“The registration process numbers are pretty impressive when comparing them to the last couple of years,” Laura Bavaird, director of member relations for the GAM mentioned. “It just goes to show how much this program has caught fire.”

The Melendez family curiosity in golf sparked when Robert, an information scientist at the University of Michigan, suffered a foot harm taking part in basketball. Inspired by watching Tiger Woods play golf on tv, he took up golf as a aggressive and train outlet.

“Amaya would go with him when he hit balls, and eventually she became interested in trying it,” mentioned Tori, who’s a cardiovascular researcher at the University of Michigan Hospital. “Right away she made great contact and got the ball in the air on her first shot and Robert was impressed. Amaya was also a gymnast and quite athletic and liked it. It kind of all went from there. Mia, who also plays soccer, followed her sister and then Robbie, then golf tournaments and here we are.”

Along the method the family joined The Polo Fields Golf & Country Club, and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame golf teacher Dave Kendall labored with the children. Robbie, who plans to play his first GAM age-group match this summer time, the GAM Junior Stroke Play Championship, is already competitively concerned by way of U.S. Kids Golf.

Amaya has reached a serious purpose. She will graduate from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School quickly and in the fall will head to close by Eastern Michigan University the place she has been recruited for the girls’s golf crew.

Mia, in the meantime, just lately received the 15-and-under women title in the GAM Junior Kickoff Championship at Washtenaw Golf Club. It was her first GAM win after a collection of second-place finishes the final two years.

“We’re so proud of all of them,” Tori mentioned. “Amaya got to the point where she chose golf over gymnastics and she has worked really hard at the game. Her success and earning a chance to get recruited and play in college has pushed Mia too, and she was so excited to finally achieve that GAM win. She had been so close and everybody has learned golf can be so humbling. And Robert is excited to compete like his sisters. We are a golf family now.”


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