FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Down the Fairway:
Ace Kids Golf Tees Off for the Future
Oakland, CA February 4, 2004 – What do
more than 250 inner-city youth have to do with golf, and the upcoming AT&T
Pebble Beach Pro Am? They’re all
part of an Oakland-based program designed to help keep kids off the street, and
on the green.
The brainchild of Henry Loubet, Ace Kids
Golf was created in 1998 to introduce less-advantaged youth to the game.
An Oakland-based non-profit organization, it is funded largely by private
donations and grants, including a major grant from the United States Golf
Association (USGA) and another from AT&T Pebble Beach Charities, which
benefits from the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Four levels of golf instruction are
offered directly through the Ace Kids Golf Center, and through other
organizations. Ace currently serves
youth from the City of Oakland’s 12 community recreation centers, as well as
local schools, YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs.
Providing everything from transportation
to equipment and instruction to students age 9-17, Ace makes it easy for any
youth-oriented organization to add golf to its offerings at a very low-cost.
In just five-years over 1000 youth in the Oakland area have benefited
through this highly successful service model.
“It’s about outreach and teamwork,”
explains founder Henry Loubet. “Seventy-five
percent of our participants are African-American, and we have almost 50 percent
female participation,” he adds. “Most
participants come from single-parent households and inner-city neighborhoods
that are hotspots for crime. We
introduce them to the safe, beautiful environment that golf courses offer and a
sport that teaches life-skills which extend beyond the game itself.”
From the six-week introduction, also
known as Ace Boot Camp, through advanced instruction, the “Ace Club”
mentorship program and pilot projects including Golf in Education and Business
and Golf, instructors use an integrated approach to teach the basic fundamentals
of the sport along with core values of excellence, respect and dignity.
“We get the kids outside, doing rather
than watching,” explains Ace Executive Director Jeff Callaway, “and
incorporate themes like honesty, self-discipline, trust, patience and
responsibility into our instruction on the course.”
The program also teaches academic skills,
from mathematics to communications. Participants
learn to keep score and figure the distance from the ball to the green, and are
required to use proper terminology rather than slang - communicating in the
universal language of golf. Etiquette
and respect are emphasized both on and off the course, and students routinely
interact with adult golfers and industry professionals.
The benefit to students is evident.
“Through golf they learn to listen and to focus. Typically student
behavior, courtesy and sportsmanship improve over even a two-week course of
instruction,” Callaway observes.
currently conducting a major fundraising drive to support its after school and
summer programs in 2004. The cost
for each child is just $250. Cash
contributions and individual sponsorships are encouraged, and donations of
quality equipment, supplies and accessories are also accepted.
Organizations and individuals can contact Jeff Callaway at 510.238.2196
to make donations or learn more about participating in Kids Golf programs.
“An investment in Ace is an investment
in the future,” says Loubet. “Golf
gives kids an outlet. It helps them
become winners, in life and on the course.”
Ace: The Ace
Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports Ace Kids Golf.
Its purpose is to ensure that less-advantaged youth receive a thorough awareness
of the game and its positive values, by providing them with a quality
experience. The program not only teaches the sport of golf, but teamwork,
cooperation, and the development of one’s potential.
To learn more about Kids Golf
programs visit www.acekidsgolf.com, or
call 510.238.2196. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.