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Free golf event for ages 3-5

Youngsters ages 3, 4 and 5 are invited to participate in the Itty Bitty Open, a free junior golf event being held Saturday, Jan. 22 at 14 locations across the Valley. PGA and LPGA golf professionals will teach the youngsters the basics of golf and then, along with their adult caddie (a parent or relative), the children will try out their new skills in a non-competitive “tournament” on a specially designed nine-hole course. Participants will receive a free set of plastic golf clubs and balls, as well as a visor. The event is sponsored by the Junior Golf Association of Arizona and the Thunderbirds, and is in conjunction with the parks and recreation departments of the cities of Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Tempe, Surprise and Goodyear. It was founded in 1988 by Sue Shindler-Montello and the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. Clinic times are 9, 10 and 11 a.m. at the following locations: (** denotes no 9 a.m. clinic)

Phoenix – Cashman Park, Deer Valley Community Center**, Eastlake Park Community Center, Maryvale Community Center, Paseo Highlands Park/Beuf Community Center, Pecos Community Center, Washington Activity Center
Glendale – Foothills Sports Complex
Goodyear – Palm Valley Golf Course**
Mesa – Hohokam Park
Peoria – Rio Vista Community Park
Scottsdale – Scottsdale Ranch Park
Surprise – Surprise Stadium
Tempe – Benedict Field

A special best dressed player/caddie contest will be held at each site and session. The winners will receive a congratulatory letter, trophy and two tickets to the R.S. Hoyt, Jr. Dream Day Activities at the 2011 Waste Management Phoenix Open where a contest will be held to determine the best dressed from all the sites. “Over the past 22 years, the Itty Bitty Open has provided a marvelous opportunity for kids to be introduced to the great game of golf in a non-competitive atmosphere,” said Tom Cunningham, executive director of the Junior Golf Association of Arizona. “All of us at the JGAA look forward to the Itty Bitty Open each year and who knows, we might be looking at the next up and coming professional golfer at one of our sites.” For more information on the 2011 Itty Bitty Open or to register, contact the JGAA office at (602) 944-6168 or visit their web site at www.jgaa.org.