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As families look for more ways to spend time together and share common interests, golf can offer a way to blend love for the outdoors and athletics.

Today, more golf clubs are offering avenues for the entire family to get involved and have fun. Megan Gann, marketing director for the Westchester Hills Golf Club in White Plains, pointed out several activities the club offers for golfers of all ages.

1. Lessons – The club, like most golf courses, offers group and individual lessons to boys and girls, men and women, at all skill levels. This allows every member of the family the opportunity to learn the sport at their own pace.  Westchester Hills has two PGA licensed pros in head pro Jason Gobleck and his assistant Chris Hauff, who organize clinics and events throughout the golf season

2. Family Togetherness – Once they have all learned the game, its rules and the basic skills to play, family members can enjoy the game as a group.  Because the course offers three sets of tees – ranging from 5,500 yards to 6,300 yards at Westchester Hills, as well as special drop areas near each green that allow the tiny tots to participate – the family can play together and golfers of every age can have fun.  Families are allowed to tee off as a group after 3 p.m. each day.

3. Tournaments and competition – Age group, husband-wife, father-son, parent-child, men’s, women’s and junior tournaments are all offered throughout the season.  Weekly late afternoon and early evening couples’ tournaments are also held throughout the summer and are usually accompanied by an after-tournament social event.

Players can compete on many different levels: against other golfers, the course itself and against his or her own attempts at improvement.  Even at the same age level, golf’s handicapping system allows golfers of varying ability to compete against one another. This leads to a great balance when families with different skill levels play together as a group.

4. Social – Even if you had a rough time on the course, you can usually count on a good time meeting up with some friends after your round. Post-tournament social events, many of them family-oriented, are held at Westchester Hills throughout the year. This allows families to mingle with others and have some fun.  Lifelong friendships are made through golf and the social gatherings held afterwards.

“We can honestly say there aren’t many ‘strangers’ at the Club. Regardless of what golf event is happening at the course, you can always expect to hear some laughter and stories in the Dining Room afterwards,” Gann said.

5. Sportsmanship – Golf as much as any sport teaches good sportsmanship. Golf teaches fair play, honesty  and playing by rules that are equally applied to everyone. You won’t find another sport where a player is expected to call a penalty on himself.

6. Enjoying the outdoors – Golf courses are well-manicured oasis that generally include well-maintained water hazards and woods, all adding to the picturesque nature of each course.  Every course is unique.  Westchester Hills, for instance, is a flat course with lots of water, mature trees and some gorgeous views.  Westchester Hills is a very walkable course, adding a physical fitness aspect to a round of golf. Gann added that although Westchester Hills is but five minutes from the downtown area, it offers a “quiet escape” from the city’s hustle and bustle.

7. Great memories – Whether it’s a single shot or two, a well-played hole or a great round, golf is a sport supported by its memories and accomplishments. Family members can share in each other’s good play or career-best round.

Because golf can be “for everyone”; it is a sport that can bring a family together and create memories. For an afternoon or for a lifetime.

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