The objective behind the G.O.A.L.S. program is to bring the game of golf to all children regardless of disability. Golf teaches skills that will help these children in every aspect of their life.
STEPS TO GET YOUR CHILD INVOLVED IN G.O.A.L.S.
3.) CONTACT DANNY MAPES, DIRECTOR OF G.O.A.L.S.
to discuss your child’s individual needs and special abilities.
MONDAY: Falcon’s Fire Club- GOALS (4:30)
WEDNESDAY: Tuscawilla Country Club- GOALS (5:00)
FRIDAY: Celandine Life Prep Academy- GOALS (12:15)
FRIDAY: Casselberry Golf Club- GOALS (4:00)
SATURDAY: Central Florida Dreamplex- GOALS (TBD)
SATURDAY: Lake Mary YMCA- GOALS & Special Olympics YAP (TBD)
SUNDAY: Orange County National- GOALS (11:00)
SUNDAY: Wekiva Golf Club- GOALS (1:00)
SUNDAY: Mayfair Country Club- GOALS (3:30)
SUNDAY: Rio Pinar Country Club- GOALS (4:00)
THROUGH OUR EXPANDED PARTNERSHIP WITH THE JORDAN SPIETH FAMILY FOUNDATION…
MORE LOCATIONS TO BE ANNOUNCED IN JANUARY 2017!
Does your child qualify for a scholorship?
Fill out the form below to see…
LINKSTERS WELCOMES DANNY MAPES AS NEW G.O.A.L.S. PROGRAM DIRECTOR
THE NONPROFIT’S G.O.A.L.S. PROGRAM USES GOLF AS A TOOL FOR ENHANCING THE LIVES OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Febuary 5, 2017, Deltona, FL- The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development is pleased to announce thier new G.O.A.L.S. Program Director, Danny Mapes. “I am so excited to have Danny aboard in this role as he is a true inspiration to all and at many levels, can truly relate to the students he is teaching through G.O.A.L.S.”
Danny is originally from North Dakota, and is a 2004 graduate of West Fargo High School. After graduation, Danny attended Minnesota State University-Moorhead, majoring in Business Administration and Marketing. Danny is also a December 2016 graduate of the Golf Academy of America-Orlando.
Danny was born with Spina Bifida and has relied on a wheelchair for mobility since birth. While his disability has presented him with several challenges throughout his life, he has always stayed very active and has always found ways to adapt and accomplish his goals. He has a very positive attitude, and hopes to inspire others to overcome any challenges they may face through positivity and perseverance. He played baseball and basketball for several years during his childhood, and, at the age of 7, he was introduced to the game of golf. He instantly fell in love with the game. At the age of 13, he played 9 holes for the first time, and his love for the game grew even greater. From high school through college, Danny coached youth baseball and worked with kids ages 3-14. During this time, Danny grew increasingly interested in golf and began playing several rounds per week every summer.
In August 2015, Danny began a new chapter in his life when he started school at Golf Academy of America-Orlando with plans to pursue a career in golf instruction. Danny’s 10 years of experience coaching youth baseball was the driving force behind his desire to get involved with Little Linksters. He first became involved with Little Linksters tour events in February 2016 as a volunteer, and has taught weekly Little Linksters classes since September 2016.
“When we started our original Little Linksters program in 2008, we knew then that golf was an amazing tool to teach very young children many aspects of life as well a fitness and other areas of importance in their development; this new direction however is very, very special and we are very excited” Explains PGA Professional and Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development founder, Brendon Elliott. “The idea behind the G.O.A.L.S program is simple, use those core beliefs we have and reach out to children with special needs. Now with Coach Danny at the helm, we really have something special going forward” adds Elliott.
G.O.A.L.S stands for Golf Outreach Advances Life Skills. This simple acronym will be the cornerstone of this new offering from the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development. The 501c3 was founded in December of 2011 as a spinoff of the original Little Linksters program that was founded by multiple award winning PGA Professional Brendon Elliott in 2008. “The objective behind the G.O.A.L.S. program is to bring the game of golf to all children regardless of disability. Golf teaches skills that will help these children in every aspect of their life. The need is there and it is great. Community support is crucial.” explains Elliott.
One of the first students with special needs to come to Little Linksters was, at the time, 9 year old Marcus. “At a time that my staff and I were just starting early discussions about introducing a program such as G.O.A.L.S., we received a phone call from Marcus’s mother Paola. She had signed him up for one of our sessions but was somewhat hesitant to let us know about his having Cerebral Palsy. She explained that he had tried other sports and activities but had not yet found “His Thing” or something he could call his own.” Elliott explains.
“To see my son smile and feel proud when hitting that golf ball is what I pray he will feel in everything he does. To be able to enjoy and be proud of himself, regardless of the limitations, is what the Little Linksters has brought him.” Marcus mother explains.
“Marcus was the spark that ignited the passion for myself and my staff to take action on an idea that could be so beneficial for so many children.” Elliott said.
“Thank you for your understanding, patience and the support you have given my son Marcus! I knew I found the right place when he said “Mom, I am a golfer now, let’s celebrate” after his first lesson.” Paola said.
In 2015 and 2016, financial support, through grants from the Alliance for Accessible Golf and the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation has helped in getting the program moving in a good direction. “Jordan’s donation at the end of 2016 was significant and really is going to help in a major way in 2017” said Elliott.
HOW BUSINESSES & INDIVIDUALS CAN HELP…
The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development has put together numerous ways people from the community can help the organization and their programming. Those interested in helping can go to the following link which is a newly launched Facebook Fundraiser for 2017: https://www.facebook.com/donate/10155139911012189/
“The idea ultimately is to reduce our costs and the fees we have to charge parents for all our programs as much as possible and give more children the chance to take part. We also would love to spread our mission and program outside of Central Florida, the state and eventually the country.” Explains Elliott.
MORE ABOUT LITTLE LINKSTERS…
Since July of 2008, the Little Linksters Golf program has brought the game of golf to a typically non- traditional sect of the golfing population; the “Pee-Wee” Golfer (Ages 3-8). The Little Linksters Golf Program is a great introduction to the game of golf for all children in this age group. The program is taught in a fun and interactive way using a combination of both traditional golf instruction methods and very non-traditional ways. The bottom line with the Little Linksters program is FUN!
The program is run by PGA Golf Professional Brendon Elliott. Brendon was the former General Manager/Head Golf Professional at the historic Winter Park Country Club which is located in downtown Winter Park, FL. Elliott was with WPCC for 13 years. He resigned from his position in July of 2011 to focus solely on the expansion of Little Linksters. Brendon, along with his wife Melisa are the owners of Little Linksters, LLC and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development which is their 501c3 Non-Profit organization. The home office of the company is in Deltona, FL.
In August of 2011, in a second phase of expansion, the Little Linksters Golf Academy @ Metrowest Golf Club located in Orlando, FL was opened. The Academy was later moved to Wekiva Golf Club in Longwood, FL in September of 2013 in order to fall in line with Elliott’s new position at the Golf Academy of America campus in Apopka, FL.
The Little Linksters “mobile” program which is ran by the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, has been in play at various daycare centers, schools, golf courses and municipalities throughout Central Florida since July of 2008. Since then, the expansion of the program has continuously been in the works. In early 2010 Little Linksters re-branded, created an easy to follow program guide/coloring book, registered and protected the name “Little Linksters” and started planning for an eventual “National Program.” The time frame to launch the “National Program” will be sometime in late 2018.
The two parts of the “Little Linksters” business entities include Little Linksters, LLC (for profit) and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development (501c3).
Little Linksters LLC oversees the following:
- The Little Linksters Golf Academy at Wekiva Golf Club (Private Lessons)
- In-Home lessons
- Online Instruction
- Sales of the Little Linksters Coloring Book
Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development (501c3) oversees the following:
- The Little Linksters “Mobile” Program (At locations throughout Central FL)
- The NEW Little Linksters G.O.A.L.S. Program (For children with special needs)
- The Little Linksters “Tour” Series
- The Best Pee Wee Swing in the World Video Contest
- Soon to launch “National Certification Program”
- Speaking on and Promoting Junior Golf for younger kids
The goal of Little Linksters, LLC and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development is to provide children ages three years to eight years of age with quality introductory golf instruction and to expose them to all of the wonderful life lessons that the wonderful game of golf teaches everyone. Although Little Linksters target group is children ages three through eight, the company does not limit itself solely to those age groups. Additionally, Little Linksters strives to be a leader in the “Pee-Wee” golf arena and aims to provide tools and information to all PGA Professionals, educators, parents and now, Golf Academy of America students that share in their vision.