New York youths 18 and younger will be able to play a free round of golf one day this summer at any of the 28 state-run public courses, including Bethpage State Park, home of this week's PGA Championship, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Cuomo said the statewide Free Youth Golf Day event, on Saturday, July 20, is designed to encourage youths to try out the sport.
"It's a nice way to get young people out to experience the game," Cuomo said at a news conference just off the Black Course. "I think once they experience it and they understand it they will be hooked."
Free rounds of golf will be available across Long Island at the five courses hosted at Bethpage State Park and at Sunken Meadow State Park; Montauk Downs State Park; Robert Moses State Park and the Sag Harbor State Golf Course.
Cuomo said the PGA Championship, which officially begins Thursday, will serve as an "economic engine" for the state and Long Island.
The seven-day event, Cuomo said, is expected to draw 200,000 spectators, create 1,100 temporary jobs and generate $120 million in revenue.
"Parks are not just recreational assets," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. "They are economic development tools."