Erzurum Metropolitan Municipality has launched a youth development program to popularize golf and raise future golfers by training 50,000 children.
One of Turkey's biggest winter tourism centers, Erzurum, has started work on a golf course, spread over some 11 decares in Yakutiye.
Its Youth Development in Golf project will be officially launched next year. Currently, Turkey Golf Federation (TGF) coaches Hilal Ok, Fulya Yurt and Tunahan Avcı are training children two hours a day. The final aim is to train 50,000 children.
Speaking to Anatolian Agency (AA), Erzurum Metropolitan Municipality Sports Inc. official Ahmet Dal said the metropolitan municipality is supplying all the necessary training, equipment and transportation for the children.
"Everyday 100 children are being trained in two shifts. To see the joy on the children's faces makes us very happy. If we can give these children something to dream about then we will have reached our goal. We did our research to establish a golf club. We will pick the most talented young golfers from here and take them to different tournaments in the future," he said.
Golf coach Ok said: "I have been in the golf business for 12 years and started my coaching career. We want to popularize the sport in Erzurum. We've dreamed of having a golf course for a long time. I hope we will succeed in raising star golfers. We want to raise national athletes and contribute to the sports. It is difficult but not impossible."
Hüleyda Acar, one of the junior trainees, said: "Golf is fun. I want to be a golf coach when I grow up. In the beginning, it was difficult but now it is getting easier."