Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced construction of the new and nationally unique $6 million CityParks Junior Golf Center, in Dyker Beach Park in Brooklyn. The facility will have a six-hole course, driving range, and practice facility with free golf instruction. The Center, available to those ages 5 through 17 and their accompanying parents and guardians, is expected to open in September, 2007. The CityParks Junior Golf Center will occupy 11.8 acres of the public Dyker Beach Golf Course and will be built, managed, and programmed by the City Parks Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving New York City’s parks. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Martin Golden, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and City Parks Foundation Executive Director David Rivel.
"With this beautiful new facility – the first of its kind in the City – we will be able to introduce more young New Yorkers in all five boroughs to the great game of golf," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Not only is golf good exercise, it teaches self-discipline, sportsmanship, and humility. Who knows? This may be the training ground for the next Tiger Woods."
"Brooklynites relish every new recreational resource for our young people, because we are eager to promote healthy habits like exercise and increase our range of athletic skills," said Borough President Markowitz. "The new Junior Golf Center is a welcome addition to the Dyker Beach Golf Course — Brooklyn’s diamond in the rough — because it means that, like Earl Woods before them, the golf legends of tomorrow will be hitting the links in Brooklyn today."
"Today, the children of this community have scored a major victory, a hole in one, and we have brought a grand opportunity to our community," said Senator Golden "Will the next Tiger Woods learn to play golf on this golf course? I commend Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council for partnering with the City Parks Foundation. I am very proud to be a part of this partnership that will build this state-of-the-art facility here in Brooklyn for the future of our City."
"Not many people think of New York City as a golfer’s paradise, but with everything from the oldest public golf course in America in Van Cortlandt Park, to the 4-tiered, all-weather driving range at Chelsea Piers, the amenities and scenic spots in our City courses are boundless," said Commissioner Benepe. "Now we are pleased to offer our children a facility designed exclusively for them. The Junior Golf Center at Dyker Beach Park will encourage new generations to discover a game that is sure to become a lifelong devotion."
"This Junior Golf Center will be the cornerstone of our golf program, which begins teaching kids about golf in neighborhood parks and then introduces them to driving ranges and golf courses as they advance in the sport," said City Parks Foundation Executive Director David Rivel. "The Junior Golf Center will give New York City’s kids a chance to develop into highly-advanced golfers while enjoying the outdoors, learning sportsmanship, and developing skills that translate to life off the course. We are deeply thankful to Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn, Senator Golden, and all those who have supported this project as it will benefit thousands of kids in ways that no other investment could."
The CityParks Junior Golf Center will consist of a six-hole golf course, a 9,875 square foot practice putting green, a 9,075 square foot chipping green, a 8,100 square foot sand trap, a nine-station covered driving range, and a 4,275 square foot Clubhouse Learning Center with classroom space. The Clubhouse has a covered patio area and three family viewing stands so parents and friends can watch the golfers practice.
The facility will be the centerpiece of the free golf instruction program the City Parks Foundation has operated for over 1,500 kids ages 5-17 since 1999. Children learn the game of golf in 10 parks, 6 driving ranges and 7 public golf courses each summer. The program serves beginners and advanced players alike and equipment is provided free of charge. By offering instruction in neighborhood parks, City Parks Foundation has been able to introduce thousands of kids, in all five boroughs, to the game of golf who would not have otherwise had the opportunity. Construction of the CityParks Junior Golf Center will give kids in the program a place to hone their skills and to meet other junior golfers.
The $6 million project is being funded through a combination of public and private funds, with $1.5 million being allocated by the City of New York and the New York City Council. Additional funds have been allocated by the New York State Senate through the efforts of State Senator Martin Golden. The remaining funds are being raised by City Parks Foundation from private sources. Of the total $6 million, approximately half is needed to construct the center, and the rest will establish a permanent operating endowment to support annual programming, operations and course maintenance.
The Center is being constructed on unused land that is part of the Dyker Beach Golf Course. The public golf course is managed under a concession agreement with the City of New York by American Golf Corporation, the country’s largest operator of golf facilities. American Golf will provide annual maintenance of the CityParks Junior Golf Center. The City Parks Foundation partners with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to improve neighborhood parks and the communities they serve.