A Kansas City man with a vision to turn around his Ivanhoe neighborhood is making a tremendous sacrifice in the name of getting closer to fulfilling his goals.
Chris Harris is the founder and creator of Harris Park, a space in the Ivanhoe part of town designed to encourage children -- and the adults in their lives -- active outdoors through sports like basketball, pickle ball and golf. Harris believes the sports teach kids "sportsmanship, honor and discipline," which sounds a lot like some of the nine core values taught in The First Tee programs nationwide.
So, it makes sense then that Harris wanted to have a chapter in Harris Park. This week, after three months of construction, the Harris Park golf course opened.
In the limited space he had to build the course, funded with private and corporate donations, Harris built two putting greens and six tee boxes. Using limited-flight golf balls, the golf course has 12 holes, giving kids new to the game a great playground to learn and try all kinds of shots. PGA of America instructors come in to help kids, including introducing them to the game and its concepts, according to WDAF-TV.
The course's opening represents the completion of the first phase of the golf project, which involved demolishing some of the abandoned, blighted homes in the neighborhood. The next step involves tearing down the house Harris and his family have lived in for 50 years to make way for another green so there can be 18 different shot-hole combinations.