Jonesboro’s Parks and Recreation Department received a $30,000 grant for trainers and equipment for children to use in the NEA Junior Golf initiative at CWL Park.
The grant was awarded by the National Recreation Foundation and will go to instruction, equipment and uniforms for teams of youth participating in the Parks and Rec target golf program. It’s intended audience is low- to middle-income youth who ordinarily might not have access to golf equipment and courses.
“We stress quality of life, and that means for all our citizens,” Mayor Harold Perrin said. “Golf, like any other sport, can provide a healthy and fun way to compete, bond and enjoy yourself in Jonesboro. No children should be denied the opportunity for that.”
Parks Director Danny Kapales started the program in 2013 at Craighead Forest Park and North Hills Golf Course to allow youth to play golf with just one club and compete against one another in a team format.
“Just in the fact that we’ve been able to bring kids who would never have had the opportunity to play at one of the local courses is rewarding,” Kapales said. “Some of those kids that started in our program are now playing on varsity teams around the city’s high schools.”
The game involves short irons – a nine-iron or chipping wedge – and the entire course is played with that club, aimed at targets around the two baseball fields at CWL Park. “It might be a 20-yard shot from tee to target,” Kapales said.