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Nations First Ever Public Junior Golf Center To Open In BK

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TWC News: Nations First Ever Public Junior Golf Center To Open In BK
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Children who like basketball or baseball usually do not have too hard a time trying to find a place to play or practice in New York. But what a youngster prefers golf? NY1's Michelle Yu says soon, there will be a place for them, too, as ground was broken Wednesday on a new golf center.

Local school children and avid golfer Mayor Michael Bloomberg were on hand to break ground on the new project Wednesday. By next year at this time, Dyker Beach Park in Brooklyn will be home to the first ever public junior golf center in the city and in the nation.

“This is a great investment in our city's future because for years to come it's going to help young New Yorkers develop their love for the game and their sportsmanship,” said Bloomberg.

The 11.8 acre space will hold a six-hole golf course, driving range, and practice facility with free golf instruction. A clubhouse featuring a classroom learning center and an outdoor seating area will also be in store.

“We now have a lot of kids that can really play the game,” said City Parks Foundation Sports Director Mike Silverman. “We decided if we could find a piece of land in New York that was available and free, we would try to build a facility just for kids.”

“Ever since Tiger Woods hit the scene, every city kid wants to learn and play golf so this is meeting the need and it teaches them a great sport for life,” said David Rivel, executive director of City Parks Foundation. “And even if they don't become great golfers, they will become comfortable on the course and learn about etiquette and sportsmanship.”

The $6 million Junior Golf Center is expected to be completed and open to the public in September of 2007 and avid junior golfers are already anxious to give this new course a try.

“I think it would be really great because I think we can now practice during the whole year,” said Jessica Plotnikov, a golfer. “And we don't have to travel anywhere and it's really close.

“It's an active sport that kids like and they want to join it,” added another young golfer, Elijah Broderick. “It's a good idea for them to build this place.

The City Parks Foundation has been sponsoring free golf programs for kids since 1999. Come next fall, there will be a new place for kids from ages five to 17 to swing away.

-Michelle Yu

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