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If the free golf lessons and free golf clubs weren’t enticing enough, the event also included some star power: an opportunity to learn how to play golf from Hollywood actor and Columbia resident Lucas Black, who has appeared in Sling Blade, Jarhead, Friday Night Lights and many other television and big-screen hits. After the success of the first Clubs for Kids Day, Baumgartner says Turkey Creek will host another one later this summer. Although the event requires a large effort from the staff and golf pros at Turkey Creek, he says the hard work is worth it, and the cost balances out in the end. “If we get kids involved in golf at a young age, they are going to buy more clubs,” he says. “The biggest thing is they are playing a sport they can enjoy all their lives. You have to grow it from the kids. This way, it gives parents an opportunity to get them started without the big expense.” T u r k e y C r ee k ’ s c o mm i t men t to kids and the community goes even further. Scott Hovis, executive director of the Missouri Golf Association, is currently raising the funds necessary to build a handicap-accessible nine-hole course on Turkey Creek’s property. When it is complete, Links for Life will be one of the first of its kind and give those with disabilities the opportunity to play golf on a course that was designed with their needs in mind. Each par 3 hole will be no longer than 120 yards from the back tee, there will be a limited number of hazards, and the greens will have wheelchair ramps and paths. Unlike a traditional grass course, Links for Life will be covered in field turf, which will allow wheelchair access to the greens without damaging the grass. “This will be a nice outlet for people with special needs to play golf,” Hovis says. “Any ability will have the opportunity to play this golf course.” Hovis says groups such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Special Olympics Missouri and the Missouri Junior Golf Foundation have already expressed interested in accessing Links for Life. Much like Turkey Creek’s other projects in and for the community, Hovis says the new course will improve Jefferson City and the surrounding area. “This will be great for the city, great for the state and great for the game of golf and everyone who is associated with it,” Hovis says. JC

Girls Just Wanna Play Golf

When Baumgartner is out in the community speaking to kids and their parents about the benefits of golf, he hopes the girls in the crowd are paying attention. “We try to preach it heavily to the parents and to the young girls,” he says. “If someone wants to get their college paid for, it is in girls golf. There are a lot of scholarships out there for the ladies.” Sports such as volleyball and softball have a large following, which means scholarships are much more limited and competitive. Golf, on the other hand, is still working to attract girls to the game, which leaves the door open to more scholarship opportunities. And, according to Baumgartner, the demand for girls in the sport means there is opportunity for players of all skill levels. “There are so many schools that are looking to give scholarships away, and there are just not enough girls in the sport,” Baumgartner says. “They are begging for girls.”

Find out more about Turkey Creek Golf Center at turkeycreekgolfcenter.com, or call 573-636-7833. Open seven days a week. 76 | July/August 2013

Jefferson City Magazine - July/August 2013  

July 2013 City Magazine July 2013 Jefferson City magazine