Naples Lakes Country Club (www.napleslakesfl.com) is hosting a golf tournament in support of the Special Olympics of Collier County on Saturday, December 15 with a 2:30 shotgun start on the newly renovated Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course.
According to Jake Myers, PGA and Head Golf Professional at Naples Lakes, a coach and an athlete will be paired with one or two members to play nine holes. Players will range in ages from 8 to 65. Most coach/athlete pairings will play a modified alternate shot format which is what the Special Olympics athletes play in all of their qualifying and regular events. The members paired may either play the same format or their own ball.
Myers has been involved with the Collier County Special Olympics Program for about eight years and has served as the organization’s Head Golf Coach for the past five years. This is a summertime program that spans 12 weeks culminating in State Golf games being held at the Walt Disney Resort in September, which welcomed over 250 athletes this year.
“When I first became involved with the Collier organization” said Myers, “we had 15 athletes and about ten coaches. At the start of this year, we had 35 athletes and 30 coaches. We are holding this tournament to allow the athletes access to some golf outside of the summer season and to create exposure for the golf program while helping it to grow in the future. There is something inherently gratifying about coming out and supporting these wonderful coaches and athletes. Over the years, we’ve had many volunteers from Naples Lakes.”
Because this is a summer program, the athletes don’t get to play much golf at this time of year. While they are involved with playing many other sports, such as basketball and bowling, Naples Lakes wanted to provide them with an opportunity to play on our great course. Following play, there will be a pizza and ice cream party for the players in the Club’s dining room.
Located at 4784 Naples Lakes Blvd., Naples Lakes Country Club is a private 490-acre gated golf course and country club community where membership is included with every residence. At the heartbeat of the community is the newly renovated Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, the last course renovation reviewed by Arnold Palmer before his passing. Naples Lakes contains more than 200 acres of lakes and protected nature preserves and has been designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, one of only 114 in Florida.
About Collier County Special Olympics. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults 8 years of age and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program provides continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of skills and talents through sports training and competition. Currently, the Collier group offers 11 different sports and serves over 1,000 athletes. Over 330 people from Collier County community give their time to volunteer each year.