Frank Ciarlo's passion for junior golf started in Tallahassee, Florida , as he looked for ways to share his love of the game with his son and daughter. That passion led to the enrollment of 300 kids in a junior golf program, bringing RYDER's “Pitch, Putt and Drive” competition to Tallahassee and the establishment of the Junior Golf Alliance.
In 2006, Frank started chapters of JGA-NY using the national Hook a Kid on Golf program in Schenectady, Troy, and then Albany, New York. Hook a Kid on Golf teaches kids the basics of the game and instills the values golf teaches.
Junior golf advocates in the Capital District formed the nonprofit known as the Junior Golf Alliance of New York to bring the national program The First Tee to the Capital District, expanding on numerous national school programs and DRIVE programs already happening at area Boys and Girls Clubs, with support and funding from JGA-NY.
In 2017, JGA-NY will adopt The First Tee LINK program and it will announce its official partnership with The First Tee.
Board of Directors
Frank J. Ciarlo, President Mark P. Walsh, Vice President Kenneth J. Ciarlo, Vice President
A Message from the Founder
The foundation for The First Tee DRIVE program was built on earlier programs like Hook a Kid on Golf, community support and the Junior Golf Alliance of New York. I’m excited bring The First Tee DRIVE program to the Capital Area because it builds on the strong foundation of golf and youth development outreach programs supported by local leaders, golfers and parents.
This is a nationally recognized junior development program for young prospective golfers. A highly successful, activity-based program, The First Tee DRIVE infuses nine core values in all lessons: respect, courtesy, responsibility, honesty, sportsmanship, confidence, judgment, perseverance, and integrity. It is a proactive and accessible program, reaching kids at school, camps and clubs. Youth leaders engage interested young people in golf right where they learn and play other sports using The First Tee DRIVE’s age-appropriate games and equipment.
We understand that many people may not understand how a junior golf program can help an at-risk child. Well, our programs are where friendships are built, stories are told, life experiences are shared, and young people learn that they can set goals, overcome failure and handle life's obstacles. They make friends and have fun playing golf, a lifetime sport that requires players to positively manage emotions, set goals, resolve conflicts, and communicate with others. Our after school Golf Clubs eliminate most hurdles facing young golfers today; money, clubs, transportation. We promote learn and play at school, at the club.
And the results? Kids who participated in the program reported increased confidence in their ability to do well academically (73%), confidence in their social skills with peers (82%), and appreciation for diversity (52%).
Simply put, JGA-NY helps kids succeed in life, which goes far beyond the golf course. Help us help our kids build character, learn life-enhancing values and empower them to make healthy choices. Join us --everybody wins!
have heard of Pop Warner football, Babe Ruth baseball or 15 Love Tennis. They are great programs that positively impact young people’s lives through sport. Now, The First Tee DRIVE comes to the Capital Region with fun ways to teach golf and core values that improve outcomes for kids.
Most of us
President, Junior Golf Alliance of New York
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