(The Center Square) – Arizona will give children who are unlikely to play golf a chance to learn some of the sport’s better virtues.

Students in rural and underserved communities have the opportunity to participate in the Tee Up Healthy Students Program, which uses golf to “build character, instill values ​​and promote healthy choices,” Governor Doug Ducey’s office said Monday.

At a cost of $ 375,000, the Ducey office expects the current enrollment of 150,000 students in 15 Maricopa County’s school districts to expand significantly to rural Arizona.

“Organizations like First Tee are helping our state build new safety nets to support children and families at risk,” said Ducey. “Staying active, socializing, and learning new skills are great ways Arizona children can prepare for their futures and lead healthy lives. In Arizona we will continue to support children in need – and I thank the First Tee team for everything they do. ”

The program is offered through the Arizona Chapter of First Tee. The nonprofit is committed to providing affordable golf programs for youth and communities that don’t have them.

“The Tee Up Healthy Students Program will ensure that more children in need have opportunities to get some fresh air, exercise and connect with others so that they are well rounded and prepared for their future educational and professional endeavors,” First Tee CEO Phoenix Herman Lewkowitz said.

The program doesn’t seem to send kids to any of the state’s hundreds of golf courses, but works with Journeyage of Phoenix to run the programs virtually. First Tee has a successful track record in including disadvantaged children in the golf community. Two teenagers from the Phoenix area played on May 20-26. September in Pebble Beach, California at the PURE Insurance Championship 2021.

The spending comes three months after Ducey announced $ 65 million in state and federal funds to support K-12 literacy, adult education, and teacher development.