Pictured: Eric Houseknecht, Jeff Liebler, Rich Kennedy
MADISON, N.J. – After several outfit changes, over a dozen water bottles drank and 20 miles walked, the New Jersey State Golf Association completed 100 Hole Hike challenge on August 29 at Madison Golf Club.
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The hike benefitted Youth on Course, an organization that’s mission and program helps provide young people with affordable access to play golf, along with opportunities to learn and gain work experience in the industry.
Overall, the NJSGA hikers, comprised of former presidents Eric Houseknecht and Jeff Liebler and staff member Rich Kennedy, Director of Handicapping and Membership Services raised a remarkable $18,579. It took the trio 12 and a half hours to trek the 100 holes, carding 14 birdies along the way.
The group finished just before dark and although it was a long day at Madison Golf Club, the three hikers completed their mission effectively.
"The sense of satisfaction that you can do it is well worth it," said Liebler. "You can't beat the cause with this organization, all the money goes to paying for rounds for kids."
Through the generosity of individual donors and support of organizations throughout the country, the successful Youth on Course program subsidizes rounds of golf for $5 or less for children between the ages of 6 through 18. Since its founding by the Northern California Golf Association in 2006, Youth on Course has grown to over 130,000 members and 1,700 participating member courses in the United States.
“It’s a fantastic non-for-profit organization that gives opportunities to kids to play golf, get jobs working in golf and even gives scholarships to college," said Houseknecht. "It’s an outstanding organization that we’re very proud to be working with."
“This is a way of allowing kids to play for $5 a round. The more kids that get involved around this game, the more things it can teach them, explained Liebler. "Anything we can do to make it more inclusive, is good for the game."
More specifically, the Youth on Course partnership in New Jersey brings affordable course access to youth golfers for just $30 annually, which gives youth golfers ages 6 through 18 access to play at any participating course.
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