KENILWORTH, N.J. – Each year the New Jersey State Golf Association (NJSGA) Youth Foundation supports deserving youth golf and sports-related programs throughout the state of New Jersey. This support is provided through grants, which are awarded following the Youth Foundation Pro-Am, a four-player team event that’s hosted prior to the New Jersey Open Championship each year.
Under the leadership of Pete Aloisio, Program Director/First Tee Coach and Bill Castner, Program Coach, the First Tee of Plainfield has utilized the NJSGA Youth Foundation grants in ways that have helped the organization thrive.
“Being able to support everything that we do, whether it’s taking our kids to golf courses that they would never get a chance to play or having a little bit of extra money that we can use without having to go into budgetary things. It’s always helpful,” expressed Aloisio.
The First Tee of Metropolitan New York offered over 800 individuals a plethora of educational golf programs. In the winter, the Plainfield campus hosts around 100 youth golfers for their winter program.
“The whole goal is to try to get those underserved kids more of an opportunity,” said Aloisio.
Unlike many First Tee locations, Plainfield's facility is one of a kind. Located at Plainfield West Nine Golf Course, they not only have an entire 9-hole course and range at their disposal but Plainfield Country Club, which is located just across the street has added additional driving range space for the organization to use.
“This is probably one of the most convenient and efficient First Tee locations anywhere in the country,” Aloisio explained. “Bill (Castner) is the General Manager and Director of Golf for the golf course and he's also a First Tee employee. We have a 2000 square foot indoor facility here, we have the 9 hole golf course and then we also built an extension onto the Plainfield Country Club driving range across the street that is just for First Tee use.”
With these resources, the male and female youth golfers of First Tee of Plainfield are able to experience real-time golf scenarios while learning life lessons that the First Tee bases their curriculum on.
“Kids may be here for four hours and they'll go up to the range for an hour, go out and play nine holes, go back to the range if they want and there’s instruction all over the place. It's showing them what golf really is,” said Aloisio. “Instead of hitting balls for 20 minutes on the driving range, talking about respect and responsibility, and then we'll see you next week. We don’t do that kind of stuff. Of course we still have our beginner classes and lessons, but making sure these kids know that there's a lot more involved and they can get out there and giving them that access.”
To learn more about the First Tee - Metropolitan New York - Plainfield, click HERE.
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