Rolex Rankings No. 2 and 14-time LPGA Tour winner Cristie Kerr hosted a free clinic for junior golfers at the CityParks Junior Golf Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Kerr shared her experiences as a child growing up in the game and her subsequent rise to prominence in the world of women's golf. Kerr learned to play golf in the city parks of Miami as a member of the Dade Amateur Golf Association and she encouraged the junior players to work hard, follow their dreams, and capitalize on the opportunity that CityParks Golf has to offer. "I would never be where I am today if I had not had the opportunity to learn the game in the city of Miami. Golf is cool," Kerr told the 50 junior golfers in attendance.
Nicknamed "Boomer" as a child for her length off the tee, Kerr talked about her love for the game, "As long as I can remember picking up a golf club, I have loved the game. It is the hardest game I ever played. I still remember how it felt to hit it passed the 100 yard marker for the first time." Surprisingly, Kerr started playing golf as a lefty, but was switched to the other side by her parents after they found it challenging to find left-handed golf equipment.
Kerr also talked to the juniors about the influence her father had on her development as a player and a person, “I always try to follow what my father instilled in me,” Kerr said. “If you work hard and make it fun, it doesn’t matter what the results are. He also taught me that grades and school are just as important as golf.” Kerr was a straight-A student in high school.
Kerr filmed a PSA for the City Parks Foundation with several of the junior golfers who hail from all corners of New York City. The kids can use the state-of-the-art practice facility for free. The Rene Lacoste Foundation helps support the Center, and Kerr and Lacoste are corporate partners. Kerr also conducted a clinic, imparted swing tips, fielded questions from the kids, signed autographs, and snapped photos. She ended the day by spending individual time with each junior.
The CityParks Junior Golf Center was created to further develop the skills of the city’s future generations of golfers. Its mission is to teach the basics of the game and its positive values to New York City youth, at no cost and to offer free, challenging follow-up programs that will enable participants to play independently on the course for the rest of their lives. The Center is available to boys and girls from the ages of 6-17.