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Get golf tips with PGA Free Lesson Month in May


Golfers throughout the U.S. will have an opportunity to improve their game at no cost throughout May by participating in Play Golf America's PGA Free Lesson Month.

Founded in 1998 by the PGA of America and Golf Digest, the program is designed to attract new golfers, and to help existing golfers with their games, all at no cost. With the program, golfers can receive free, 10-minute golf lessons from a PGA Professional.

"PGA Professionals are dedicated to growing the game and the success of PGA Free Lesson Month is a testament to that commitment," PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb said. "We are proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of PGA Free Lesson Month and look forward to another record- setting year."

There were a total of 147,332 free lessons given in 2006, which marked a 21 percent increase from 2005. The lessons were given by 7,485 PGA Professionals at 5,880 facilities across the country, with PGA Professionals giving an average of 20 free lessons, with the lessons averaging 19 minutes. The program showed signs of working to bring in new golfers, as 55 percent of the free lessons conducted were with first-time golfers. A total of 23 percent were new or beginning golfers. Women accounted for 31 percent of the lessons, and 11 percent of the total were lessons given to individuals with disabilities.

"PGA Free Lesson Month is one of the most tangible programs for attracting new players to the game and sparking interest among existing players," said Jerry Tarde of Golf Digest Publications. "Over half a million free lessons have been given nationwide since this growth-of-the-game initiative was launched 10 years ago."

The Golf Channel has done its part in promoting Free Lesson Month, as it has advertised the event on its programming, and will feature the PGA Professional who gives the most free lessons on its instructional show "The Turn."

As an official sponsor, Nike Golf will be supplying prizes for sweepstakes winners. Golfers receiving free lessons will be entered in the sweepstakes, with one PGA Professional and one amateur participant both receiving a golf getaway to The PGA Golf Club and Learning Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Both will receive two rounds of golf and unlimited use of the PGA Learning Center, as well as a half day of golf instruction at The PGA Golf School for the amateur, free Nike golf equipment and more.

"We are proud to be a part of a national grow the game initiative that continues to break participation records every year," said Cindy Davis of Nike Golf. "We are pleased to support PGA Professionals around the country in attracting more interest and, ultimately, long-term participation to the game of golf."

You can access a list of particpating PGA Professionals at www.playgolfamerica.com. They also will be listed in the May issue of Golf Digest and the May/June issue of Golf For Women.

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