- Golfer Benefits
NORTON, Massachusetts – They jogged, they walked, and they smiled did the eight members of Team Mass Golf who took part in the 100 Hole Hike this year at the Links of Mass Golf.
By playing 100 holes apiece in one day, these members have raised more than $54K for Youth On Course, which brings affordable course access to youth golfers throughout Massachusetts. The $15 annual membership fee gives youth golfers ages 6-18 access to play at any participating course throughout the Bay State and across the country for only $5 per round.
Split into a two-part event, LPGA professional Alison Walshe played 100 holes of golf on October 7, while the remaining seven participants — Mass Golf Executive Director/CEO Jesse Menachem, Mass Golf staff members Kyle Sherman and Jenna Walkiewicz, Mass Golf Board Members Joanne Gagnon, Scott Baker, and Sally DeGan, and Mass Golf Member Patrick Johnson played their 100 holes on September 27.
“Growing up in Massachusetts playing golf was one of the highlights for me,” said Walshe, a Westford native. “It’s going to be so great to get other kids out here and learn what this game is, so this is an awesome cause.”
“There was just a lot of energy from everybody,” added Menachem, who was one of five hikers last year. “I love the way it’s trending, and I think there’s still room for this to grow.”
Finishing the hike first was first-time participant Joanne Gagnon, who completed the 100 holes in just over 3 hours. The former distance runner ran from hole-to-hole on the front nine loop at The Links, and toward the end, picked up the lone ace of the day on hole No. 7.
“It does feel like I ran a marathon,” Gagnon said. “I just really love the idea of this program and giving kids access to golf, a structured activity that gets kids outside. Thinking about how many rounds that could be for a group of children in any given year, is amazing.”
Scott Baker was all smiles as he said he carried fewer clubs, surpassed his birdie total, and finished quicker than the year prior. More importantly, he said he was glad to be able to give back for the second consecutive year.
“It goes a long way toward getting more people engaged in the game, and it’s good just to keep seeing the folks who participated, and it’s good to feel part of contributing,” Baker said.
Patrick Johnson, a principal at Walsh Middle School in Framingham, said he got his start in golf when he was younger, and with his affinity for the game and its life lessons, he wanted to find a way to give back to the game.
“I think it’s important because golf’s expensive, and if we can get kids on the course for five bucks a shot, that’s awesome,” said Johnson, who became a Mass Golf Member about 18 months ago. “Playing 100 holes is not easy, but it’s fun. I met a lot of nice people, and I’ll be back.”
Youth On Course has continued to grow since being implemented by Mass Golf in 2019. The offering has expanded across the Commonwealth with 29 participating locations, an increase from 22 to the year prior. This has also led to an increase in rounds played among youth members.
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Even though the 100 Hole Hike is complete, donations are still being accepted for each member of Team Mass Golf.
For more information on becoming a Youth on Course member through Mass Golf, please visit MassGolf.org/YouthOnCourse or contact Kyle Sherman (email@example.com), Manager of Member Events & Services, with any questions.
Sally DeGan, right, has completed the 100 Hole Hike for two consecutive years. (Mass Golf)