Former sports writer invests in youth sports business to teach and grow the game of golf throughout local schools, community centers and golf courses
(Nashville, TN) – When schools are back in session this fall and TGA Premier Junior Golf (TGA) starts its leading after-school and community based golf enrichment programs once again, a new chapter will add to the impact of youngsters nationwide.
“I’ve seen first-hand how few opportunities there are for kids to get involved with golf in schools, especially with all of the options in sports for kids to play,” Connelly said. “The TGA program, with its innovative educational curriculum, will be a great experience that impacts students, families and the future growth of the game here in Nashville.”
Connelly, 26, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He grew up playing a variety of sports, including golf and tennis, and along the way learned the value that sports can have on a youth’s life. When he started contemplating a career change from journalism, he wanted to stay connected to sports and bringing TGA’s impressive business model and program to south Nashville fit his plans perfectly.
“Nashville is such a vibrant and growing city with more and more families being added every day,” he said. “TGA is perfect for such an active community. There is a strong marketplace here for after-school golf enrichment programs, which will transition seamlessly year round into the popular TGA summer camp programs."
Connelly will also be receiving well-guided entrepreneurial experience from his mother, Laura Connelly, who will be the operations manager for the business. She recognized Dave Robinson’s success with TGA in Detroit, another former sports journalist with the Detroit Free Press, and thought it might be perfect for her son.
Laura, who has been an entrepreneur for most of her business life, started a kids’ exercise program when her son Kevin was young, offering the program to day centers and preschools. Later she and her husband Bill owned an executive recruiting and training business for many years. It was only natural that Kevin would combine his own entrepreneurial spirit with his love of sports to launch TGA of South Nashville, and recruit Laura to handle the behind-the-scenes details.
“TGA is a very professional organization with a mission that spoke to me – sports change lives,” Laura said. “I’ve seen that with all of my kids, and look forward to giving other young people the same opportunity."
“By developing an early appreciation for golf, they’ve got something they can carry with them throughout life. The STEM curriculum is also an added bonus, and integrating it into the game of golf makes it fun for the kids, and popular with parents and schools.”
The TGA model’s successful formula is two-fold: First, introductory golf programs are brought directly into schools and community centers and put on a level playing field with other mainstream sports on the menu of activities for elementary and middle school students. Second, following the introductory programs, TGA’s Player Pathway transitions students and their families to golf courses to participate in recreational programs such as camps, leagues and parent-child events.
For more information about TGA Premier Junior Golf, visit www.playtga.com or follow @TGAJuniorGolf on Twitter.