Sunshine Through Golf Camp Program

Begun in 1999

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all Sunshine Through Golf Camp programming is postponed until the state of Illinois is in Phase 4 of Restore Illinois. At that time, we will review the new restrictions and make a decision on the programming that falls after. CLICK HERE for more information.

The Sunshine Through Golf camp program began in 1999 at one location with just 10 individuals with disabilities. This year, the program will conduct 92 golf camps reaching more than 1,200 individuals with disabilities. The program was recognized by the USGA as the largest grassroots golf program designed specifically for individuals with disabilities in the country.

The camp program is a partnership between PGA Professionals, CDGA member clubs, Special Recreation Associations, Private Agencies or Park Districts, and the CDGA Foundation. The Foundation sponsors all expenses associated with the camp within reason.

We want the program to be free for our participants.

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Expenses Covered

  • Professional Time
  • Range Time
  • Transportation Fees
  • Golf Equipment
  • Additional Facility Costs

Program Description

  • Camps range from five to eight weeks and provide campers with an opportunity to receive lessons on a weekly basis.
  • Anywhere from 5 to 20 campers participate. Most camps have a maximum 5-to-1 camper to instructor ratio.
  • Private agency, SRA or park district staff is present at all sessions. These personnel are responsible for supervision, transportation arrangements and registration of all campers.
  • Many camps are divided into two sessions, beginner and advanced, in order to accommodate all ability levels.
  • Weekly lesson plans are crafted by the host golf club's head professional and cover basic principles of woods, irons, chipping, putting, etiquette and rules.
  • Each camp strives to provide campers with as much on-course time as possible. However, on course time is allocated on a per camp basis and is dependent on camp structure and facility time available to the camp.
  • In celebration of the camper's accomplishments, the final session is comprised of on-course time (if facility allows), a cookout and an awards presentation. Upon completion of the program, campers also receive a gift package compliments of the Foundation.
  • Each athlete also receives a membership card for the Foundation's private Three-Hole Sunshine Course located at Midwest Golf House in Lemont, IL.
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Veterans Programs

Begun in 1944

After years of fundraising to support the military during World War I and World War II, the CDGA formally established Chicago District Golf Charities in 1944 as a means to assist returning World War II veterans. Golfing facilities ranging from putting clocks to a pitch-and-putt course were constructed at the area’s various Veterans Administration hospitals.

This work with veterans and active duty military continues today at both VA hospitals and golf courses throughout the Chicago District. The CDGA Foundation works in conjunction with RevelationGolf and the Hines VA Hospital's Central Blind Rehabilitation Center (CBRC) to employ the therapeutic benefits of golf as part of a structured rehabilitation program for wounded veterans, while also bringing opportunities to active duty military and their families.

With RevelationGolf, the CDGA Foundation puts on clinics at the Great Lakes Naval Base, Cog Hill, the Three-Hole Sunshine Course at Midwest Golf House and the region’s various VA hospitals.

Additionally, the CDGA Foundation began to administer Blind Veterans Golf Outings in conjunction with the Hines VA Hospital's Central Blind Rehabilitation Center (CBRC) in 2019. A total of 15 clinics took place during the year at various clubs throughout the Chicago District.

CDGA Foundation Scholarship

In addition, the CDGA Foundation recently took over administration of the Chicago Area Golf Swing Club Scholarship Foundation's scholarship program, which awards disabled veterans or dependents of deceased or disabled veterans living or hospitalized in the Chicago District. These scholarships are given on the basis of financial needs, basic scholastic achievement, community service and personal goals.

Youth on Course

Begun in 2016

NOTE: Please continue to follow proper social distancing and golf course safety protocols. CLICK HERE to view the Golf Guidelines in Illinois and CLICK HERE to view the CDGA Foundation YOC guidelines. These are the guidelines that will be in place for the month of July and we will reevaluate the situation at the end of the month.

The CDGA and CDGA Foundation partnered with Youth on Course in 2016.

Founded by the Northern California Golf Association and headquartered in Pebble Beach, Youth on Course has expanded its reach to 13 additional markets, including the Chicago District.  The organization subsidizes rounds for its age 6-18 members, ensuring that they can play for $5 or less.

Youth on Course pays participating courses the difference between the $5 and their respective junior rates, allowing youths access to the game and courses a full tee sheet, future players and increased revenue.  Since its inception, Youth on Course has subsidized more than 750,000 rounds for its 48,000 members.

In its third season in the Chicago District in 2019, 2,800 youth golfers played 12,000 rounds at 58 local courses. Membership sign up for 2020 is now available.

In conjunction with the CDGA Foundation's Youth on Course program, Chicagoland's own Tour Edge Golf is offering even more ways for Youth on Course members to save on golf and make it easier for juniors to get involved in the game! Any Youth on Course member can earn 15% off Tour Edge's amazing, high-performance and tech-filled junior and varsity complete sets and individual clubs. CLICK HERE to visit the Tour Edge website and use the special YOC promo code "TOUREDGEYOC" at checkout.

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"Youth on Course does a great job of providing affordable access to golf in a way that also is beneficial to the courses."

Robert Markionni, CDGA Executive Director