Tom Watson Golf Academy to Open with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony April 30 at Heart of America Golf Course

Tom Watson Golf Academy to Open with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony April 30 at Heart of America Golf Course

TWGAThe Kansas City Parks Department and The First Tee of Greater Kansas City are hosting a dedication ceremony for the new Tom Watson Golf Academy, a program that provides golf-focused learning and mentorship for Kansas City area youth to help build a further love of the game. The event begins at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Heart of America Golf Course, 7501 Blue River Road.

Everyone is invited to the driving range in front of the clubhouse for the dedication and ribbon cutting at 11:15 a.m., and then Watson will conduct a free golf clinic for Kansas City youth after the ceremony starting at 11:30 a.m.

The Tom Watson Golf Academy offers affordable lessons for kids working to improve their golf acumen. Each class is offered as a program of The First Tee of Greater Kansas City and are open to any 10 to 17-year-old golfer wanting to improve their game. Introductory lessons are provided through The First Tee Life Skills Experience classes.

“We want to build the game by helping kids perfect their golf skills,” said Watson, a 39-time PGA Tour champion and World Golf Hall of Famer. “The Academy is a simple and affordable way to bring golf to the youth of Kansas City.”

Mark McHenry, director of the Kansas City Parks Board, and Brigette Chirpich, executive director of The First Tee of Greater Kansas City, will conduct the dedication. Watson will speak about the efforts of The First Tee in Kansas City and announce the newest partnership between The First Tee and Kansas City Golf Association, the Youth on Course program.

Youth on Course is a national program connecting golf courses and young golfers to provide lower fees and access to more golf courses.

“Youth on Course provides an inexpensive opportunity for young Kansas City Golfers to play a multitude of courses,” said Watson. “This will open the door for kids to play new courses and to connect with other junior golfers outside of tournament settings.”

About The First Tee of Greater Kansas City
The First Tee of Greater Kansas City ( is a Missouri Not for Profit Corporation. Our mission is to impact the lives of young people in the Greater Kansas City area by providing learning opportunities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. The First Tee of Greater Kansas City serves 10,000 young people at six programming sites, over 30 local schools and through outreach programs. The First Tee of Greater Kansas also administers the Al Hoffman Scholarship Program. Currently, five alumni of the chapter are attending college with the financial assistance of this program. The Greater Kansas City Chapter is part of The First Tee Network of youth development organizations.

About Kansas City Parks and Recreation
Kansas City Parks and Recreation’s mission is to improve the quality of life, health and wellness of our community by providing socially equitable, community-driven programming and environmentally sound natural resource management.  We provide facilities, programs and recreational opportunities for the community that contribute to an aesthetically pleasing environment and enhanced quality of life. The department operates and maintains close to 12,000 acres of parkland including 220 parks, 135 miles of boulevards and parkways, 48 fountains, 87 ornamental structures, 10 community centers, 27 lakes, 100+ miles of trails and bikeways, 105 tennis courts, five golf courses and four museums. Visit to learn more.

About the Kansas City Golf Association
The Kansas City Golf Association (KCGA) is a full service regional golf association dedicated to the betterment of the amateur golf community of greater Kansas City. Founded in 1912, the Association is volunteer-based and governed as a non-profit 501(c)4 Missouri corporation. More than 60 volunteers (course raters and tournament committeemen) assist in course ratings, competitions and communications. For more information, visit