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Archive for Sunday, April 25, 2004

Youth event draws 500

April 25, 2004

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— Rain might have kept potential participants from attending a youth golf clinic Saturday at Twin Oaks Golf Complex, but it wasn't a total washout.

An estimated 500 youngsters attended and walked away with a free golf club.

"Bittersweet is the word," said Jeff Burey, co-director of the Kansas Clubs for Kids event. "Had the weather been good, based on the hits we had on our Internet Web site and the number of phone calls, we might have had three or four times as many people. I really think 2,000 would have been a realistic number."

Former Kansas University and current PGA Tour golfer Matt Gogel and former Royals great George Brett worked the event and signed autographs afterward. ESPN announcer Roger Twibell conducted interviews and handled the public-address system.

"Matt and George hit many shots and told stories, and Roger's a great interviewer," Burey said. "The kids asked some great questions. Roger was great. Of course, the moms and dads were there to see George Brett."

Co-director Rod Wray said most of the participants were from Douglas County, but he said youngsters came from as far away as Springfield, Mo.

Ping provided 1,200 clubs for the event. The remaining clubs -- irons that retailed for more than $100 -- will be distributed in smaller settings.

"We still have a lot of clubs," Wray said. "Without having folks come to us, we'll develop a plan to go see schools, visit Big Brothers/Big Sisters to try to get kids interested in golf."

That was the purpose of Saturday's event -- to get youths aged 6-15 golfing.

Former Kansas City Royal standout George Brett demonstrates his
golf swing to young golf and baseball fans.

Former Kansas City Royal standout George Brett demonstrates his golf swing to young golf and baseball fans.

"It's our job to promote the game," said Burey, general manager/golf director at Wolf Creek Golf Course in Olathe. "The best way to do that is through the kids. Some kids will play golf because of what we did today. The next Matt Gogel might have been there today."



For more information on the group, visit www.kansasclubsforkids.org.

Chloe Kueffer, 9, Baldwin, gets ready to take some swings after
getting some tips from PGA golfer and former Kansas University
player Matt Gogel. Kueffer participated in the Kansas Clubs for
Kids on Saturday at Twin Oaks Golf Course in Eudora.

Chloe Kueffer, 9, Baldwin, gets ready to take some swings after getting some tips from PGA golfer and former Kansas University player Matt Gogel. Kueffer participated in the Kansas Clubs for Kids on Saturday at Twin Oaks Golf Course in Eudora.

Michael Clover, Lawrence, helps his step-daughter, Madison Jenkins,
8, practice with her new golf club. Jenkins attended the Kansas
Clubs for Kids event Saturday at Twin Oaks Golf Course in Eudora.

Michael Clover, Lawrence, helps his step-daughter, Madison Jenkins, 8, practice with her new golf club. Jenkins attended the Kansas Clubs for Kids event Saturday at Twin Oaks Golf Course in Eudora.

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