News & ToursApril 30, 2019

Man makes good on promise, bulldozes house in order to complete golf course for neighborhood kids

WNEP
WNEP

Last November we relayed the story of Chris Harris, a Kansas City man who built an inner-city golf course for neighborhood kids. With help from the Big Brothers, Big Sisters and First Tee programs, Harris' initial layout was comprised of six tee boxes and two greens for a total of 12 holes, an oasis for troubled youth searching for something to do.

But Harris wanted to build a full 18 holes, and to achieve that wish, that meant tearing down his childhood home.

"What Chris has done here I have not seen or heard of ever before," said Brigette Chirpich, executive director of the First Tee of Greater Kansas City at the time.

On Monday, that plan came to fruition, as Harris knocked down his home to clear up space for another green, and six more tees, at what's become the Harris Park Sports and Activity Center.

"I just felt like in the neighborhood, I didn’t have the opportunity to get up, come outside and play the game of golf," Harris told WNEP. "I really do believe that if we have the opportunity in the neighborhood, there will be a lot more people playing the game of golf. I think golf is accessible to us as well. My goal is to make sure I come out here and take care of this golf course, make it beautiful. Make the beautification that helps the neighborhood, gives the kids another opportunity to get scholarships. It can open so many other doors along with other sports."

Using limited-flight golf balls, Harris hopes to replicate every shot a player would encounter on a real course, and strives to use the game to teach children valuable lessons in their fledging stages of development.

The full 18 holes are expected to be opened within a month. To help donate to Harris' vision, click here.

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