FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CITY PARKS FOUNDATION OPEN CITYPARKS JUNIOR GOLF CENTER
First-in-the-Nation: Free, Comprehensive, & Exclusively for Youth
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Parks Foundation today opened the CityParks Junior Golf Center, a state-of-the-art facility - the first of its kind in the nation - that is free of cost, and open only to juniors ages 6 to 17. Instruction at the $8 million Center is available for beginners and advanced golfers alike. Adjacent to the City's Dyker Beach Golf Course, the facility will serve thousands of junior golfers each year. It has a six-hole golf course, a 9,875 square foot practice putting green, a 9,075 square foot chipping green, a 8,100 square foot sand trap, a nine-station covered driving range, a 4,275 square foot Clubhouse Learning Center with classroom space, and full-time instructors. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Martin Golden, City Council members Vincent Gentile and Domenic Recchia, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and David Rivel, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation, the private, non-profit organization that built the Center and will manage and program the facility. Also participating in the opening were youth golfers from the CityParks Golf program and students from PS 229.
"This facility will introduce so many children - who otherwise wouldn't have had the chance - to all the benefits of the game, including sportsmanship, self-discipline, and enjoying the outdoors," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The City Parks Foundation is an impressive organization that provides recreational, educational and arts programs to people young and old in parks across the City, which will now include golf instruction for youth at this top-flight facility."
"Today, the children of this community have scored a major victory in that we have brought a grand opportunity to our community," said Senator Golden "This is the first round of applause, the first set of smiles, the first set of pictures that will be part of the story of this junior golf course. Will the next Tiger Woods learn to play golf on this golf course? I am very proud to be a part of this partnership with the City Parks Foundation, Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council, that has built this state-of-the-art facility here in Brooklyn for the future of our City."
"Not many people think of New York City as a golfer's paradise, but with 13 public golf courses, opportunities for play are boundless," said Commissioner Benepe. "Now, thanks to our partners, the City Parks Foundation, we can offer our children a facility designed exclusively for them. The Junior Golf Center at Dyker Beach Park will encourage new generations to discover a game that can lead to lifelong fitness and health. Today's opening is a real 'hole in one' for our City's kids."
"The CityParks Junior Golf Center will be the cornerstone of our CityParks Golf program, which begins teaching kids about golf in neighborhood parks across the city," said City Parks Foundation Executive Director David Rivel. "The CityParks Junior Golf Center will give New York City's kids a chance to develop into advanced golfers, with the potential to earn college scholarships, while also enjoying the outdoors, learning sportsmanship, and developing skills that translate for life off the course."
The CityParks Junior Golf Center will offer free, challenging programs to develop well-rounded players who can play for the rest of their lives. All participants will become automatic members of the center, enjoying benefits including free use of the facility and equipment, and invitations to special events. Detailed program information, updates about the Center, and registration instructions are available at www.nyc.gov or by calling (718) 259-2999.
City Parks Foundation has offered CityParks Golf since 1999, now serving over 1,800 youth each year. The program serves beginners, intermediate, and advanced players in parks across all five boroughs with equipment provided free of charge. By offering instruction in neighborhood parks, City Parks Foundation has been able to introduce thousands of urban kids to the game of golf.
Construction on the $8 million Junior Golf Center began in November 2006. The project is being funded through a combination of public and private funds, with $2 million allocated by the City, $400,000 by the New York State Senate through the efforts of State Senator Martin Golden, and the remaining funds raised by City Parks Foundation from private sources. Of the $8 million total, approximately half is needed to construct the center, and the rest will establish a permanent operating endowment to support annual programming, operations, and course maintenance. Callaway and Top Flite are the official equipment sponsors of the CityParks Junior Golf Center. The Center is also supported by the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Foundation; Andrew & Ann Tisch; the USGA; and ConEdison.
The Center is being constructed on previously unused land that is part of the Dyker Beach Golf Course. The public golf course is managed under a concession agreement with the City by American Golf Corporation, the country's largest operator of golf facilities. American Golf will provide annual maintenance of the CityParks Junior Golf Center. The City Parks Foundation partners with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to improve neighborhood parks and the communities they serve.
Stu Loeser /Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Jama Adams (Department of Parks and Recreation)
Philip Craft (City Parks Foundation) (212) 360-8162