Taking a golf trip to play top-tier golf courses as a single can carry a hefty price tag. Financing a family golf vacation at these locations is close to impossible for most. Not anymore, thanks to an organization who’s on a mission to provide juniors with access to life-changing opportunities through golf.
Living in Bellevue, Wash., Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lee have three children. All five are golfers. They’ve traveled to Pebble Beach and played Spanish Bay, enjoyed the stunning Pacific Northwest views of Chambers Bay, and dozens other similar go-to destinations. Taking a look at their pro shop receipt, you’ll notice a $5 charge. It’s not a commemorative ball market, but an individual greens fee.
The kids (Christian, Grace, Lauren) are members of Youth on Course, which grants them access to $5 or less rounds of golf at over 650 courses in 23 states. The family picks a travel destination and search the database to find designated golf courses in the area.
This quality time on the golf course has brought them closer than they could have ever imagined. For the Lee’s, Youth on Course is a travel hack, allowing them to see the country all while playing affordable golf together.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with them. Enjoy our Q&A.
How has golf/Youth on Course brought you closer as a family?
- [Peter] – It’s provided a wonderful family experiences. We learn, bond and travel together all while playing high-quality courses. The kids have encouraged one another and helped each other grow in the game. It’s helped them build their confidence and expand their learning potential in and outside of golf.
- [Christian] – We get a chance to bond and hang out as a family while traveling and playing golf.
- [Grace] – We get to have fun together and talk.
How did you all first get involved in golf (how did you start playing)?
- [Christian] – My dad started taking me to the range when he went to practice. He started taking me to courses with him when we went on vacation to play together.
- [Grace] – One day my dad was taking Christian to the range and I asked to go along. After that I got interested and started taking lessons.
- [Lauren] – I saw Christian and Grace play so I wanted to join as well. Plus I like traveling as a family to play golf.
How did you all get involved with Youth on Course?
- [Peter] – We heard about this program from our golf association, Washington State Golf Association. It was exciting to hear about all the different courses we could play nationwide.
What are some of your favorite places you have traveled to play golf?
- [Christian] – Maui (Kaanapali and Makena, Wailea), Palm Springs, Scottsdale.
- [Grace and Lauren] – Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Utah.
What’s your favorite trip you have all went on and played golf at?
- [Peter] – Longbow Golf Club (Mesa, Ariz.) and the Links at Spanish Bay in Monterey.
- [Christian and Grace] – Spanish Bay and Chambers Bay.
- [Lauren] – Chambers Bay.
How do you choose which places to travel to? Do you decide together? Do you look for YOC courses before you go?
- [Christian, Grace Lauren] – Our parents decide on the general area of where we will go (national park areas). We then turn to YOC and identify courses near that area and choose the ones we’d like to play.
What has the game of golf taught you?
- [Christian] – Patience and how to be calm in pressure situations.
- [Grace] – Patience.
- [Lauren]- Don’t let interference or bad things get into your mind.
How has Youth on Course helped your confidence on and off the course?
- [Christian and Grace] – Allowing me to play golf at different places helped my confidence in understanding different course setup and strategy of how to play a certain course. Off the course, we’ve been able to travel to different states and expand our experiences.
- [Lauren] – Even though some courses are hard, it makes me confident to play different courses.
Why do you enjoy the game of golf?
- [Christian] – It teaches me life lessons that can be applied outside of golf such as sportsmanship and integrity.
- [Grace] – I enjoy the competition and making new friends.
- [Lauren] – Because I get to laugh with my family.
How do you all work together to make each other better on and off the course?/ How have you supported each other on and off the course? / How do you encourage each other to reach your goals?
- [Christian] – Analyze each other’s weaknesses and receive helpful tips on how we can improve.
- [Grace] – We have contests (putting, target, etc.) to push each other to improve.
- [Lauren] – Provide positive encouragement while helping each person reach their goals.
How has traveling and playing golf together strengthened your support team (your family)?
- [All] – We all have something in common that we share. Even though we argue and fight at times, we have a bond through golf that we will always share. Golf is a life long game and we can always enjoy a round together as a family for many years to come.
What does being a member of Youth on Course mean to each of you?
- [Christian, Grace, Lauren] – It means a lot. It’s helped us play together and enjoy the time we spend on the golf course. It also gives us an opportunity to play courses that we would not normally be able to play.
What has been your favorite memory together?
- [Christian, Grace Lauren] – Last year when we traveled to Palm Springs to play golf and picking up a puppy along the way. We’ve been bugging our parents for a puppy and my dad found a yellow lab that we had a chance to adopt on our way to Palm Springs. On our way back home, we also got a chance to play Spanish Bay.
Do you have any advice for other families or siblings who are interested in playing golf?
- [Christian] – Start with lessons. You’ll enjoy the game much more if you are able to hit the ball consistently. Also join YOC so you can see where you can play.
- [Grace] – Golf is like life. Have fun and enjoy the journey.
- [Lauren] – Get started with family. It’s fun to play together as a family.