Kids Golf Bank: Growing the game of golf, one kid at a time

New organization helps youngsters learn, practice and play golf

The recently launched, Kids Golf Bank, is a program that helps youngsters learn, practice and play the game of golf. Through coordination between junior golf organizations such as the First Tee of Phoenix, golf facilities, golf industry leaders and individual donors, the Kids Golf Bank provides youngsters with free lessons, practice sessions and rounds of golf at participating courses. The goal of Kids Golf Bank is to grow the game and instill the valuable lessons it teaches.

“Golf is much more than just another game,” said Mick Carroll, co-founder of the Kids Golf Bank. “It offers a host of character-building lessons that help young people develop into upstanding adults, on and off the golf course. But the game of golf can be expensive. Our mission is to alleviate some of the financial barriers to increase participation.”

Donations may be made through the Kids Golf Bank website ( in the form of practice sessions, lessons or rounds of golf at participating courses. Once a donation has been made, funds flow from the Kids Golf Bank to local junior golf associations who present vouchers to their members that can be redeemed at the participating course. The system allows kids that are golf course ready to practice real golf scenarios while increasing golf course revenue without the need for discounted tee times.

“Golf has touched my family in a positive way,” Carroll added.  “Through my own experience as well as the encouraging influence it had on my daughter, Michelle, I’ve grown to truly appreciate what it has to offer. We created the Kids Golf Bank to help more kids get involved.”

At the age of three, Michelle Carroll was diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblastoma. Although she survived, the extreme chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant stunted her growth making participation in team sports difficult. However, Michelle took to the game of golf like a duckling to water, and after countless hours learning, playing and practicing on a local First Tee golf course with dad faithfully on the bag, she “grew” (4’ 11” 83 pounds) into a fine golfer who played four years of high school and collegiate golf at Millikin University. Michelle is now a pediatric oncology nurse in St. Louis helping others overcome the challenges that she faced many years ago.

The First Tee of Phoenix, one of the junior golf organizations working with the Kids Golf Bank, has 13 locations in Maricopa County. The First Tee helps shape the lives of kids and teens from all walks of life by introducing them to values inherent to the game such as integrity, respect, confidence and perseverance.

“The game of golf requires a measure of dedication and perseverance that can only come with time and effort,” said Tim Kloenne, chairman of the First Tee of Phoenix. “The Kids Golf Bank addresses the need for rounds of golf as well as complimentary practice balls and instruction to facilitate participation and growth of the game.”

Kirk Triplett, three-time winner in the PGA TOUR and four-time winner on the Champions Tour, also supports the efforts of Kids Golf Bank.

“All children should have the opportunity to play and learn through the game of golf,” said Triplett. “The Kids Golf Bank is one of the best and most economical options to accomplish that. While this program is positively impacting the lives of thousands of kids today, it’s also helping the next generation of adult golfers start out on the right foot.”

To make a donation, or learn more about Kids Golf Bank, visit