Updated: July 13, 2014 5:06PM
Katherine Jemsek wants you ... to play golf.
The president of Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Jemsek has done her best to bring golfers of all ages out to the links.
Cog Hill debuted its summer program last weekend for Family Golf Night. Families can come out and play Courses 1 and 3 at Cog Hill on Saturday and Sunday nights through Sept. 28.
“We look at it as more of an introduction to the game of golf,” Jemsek said. “If kids never come out, never try the game, they cannot get hooked. Here, you get a chance for mom and dad to come out with a family event and do it together outside. Moms and dads get to play a little golf, and get the kids started in the sport, too.”
The Family Night program also is offered at two other Jemsek Golf facilities in the area — Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein (Sundays at 5 p.m.) and St. Andrew’s Golf and Country Club in West Chicago (daily at 6:30 p.m.).
In hopes of getting young golfers involved in the sport and staying involved, Jemsek and her staff always are on the lookout for a tweak here and there. The cost for the program is $10 per person for families playing nine holes, which includes a golf cart and a snack for junior players.
Rather than having young players bomb away from the back tees, the program has both kids and adults play from tees set up in the fairway in conjunction with the U.S. Kids Family Course.
“We want the kids to get out and enjoy themselves in a fun environment with no pressure,” Jemsek said. “If you’re playing from the blue tees, the yardage is about 766 for nine, 1,500 for 18. If you’re playing the gold tees, it’s 2,000 yards for nine, about 4,000 for 18.”
The atmosphere is relaxed. Jemsek pointed out families can play four or five holes or play the full nine.
“Playing from the same set of tees as your parents, there’s a chance to beat mom and dad,” Jemsek said with a laugh. “It’s not about the score so much, though, but being with your kids, maybe working on your short game.”
The goal for Jemsek and the three courses is turning young, inexperienced golfers into lifelong fans who keep coming back.
“When you first learn the game, it’s less threatening as a kid,” Jemsek said. “The biggest obstacle as an adult is that fear of not knowing what to do, not knowing how to handle yourself, the golf swing. We need to introduce kids to golf so they have an opportunity to grow up and be golfers.”
From June 30 through July 6, Cog Hill will offer Bring Your Child to the course. The Bring Your Daughter to the Course program runs from July 7 through July 13.