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Muranyi gets youth hooked on golf
Times photo: Mark Nesbitt Monroes Mike Muranyi instructs junior golfers on the fundamentals of the golf grip and swing Saturday. There were 20 children selected for discounted memberships to the Monroe Country Club through the Mike Muranyi Junior Golf Foundation.
MONROE - When Mike Muranyi got hooked on golf there were no practice ranges to tee off from where he lived in Buffalo, N.Y.

He recalls having to go golfing with his parents.

"The times were so restricted for playing," he said. "You had to go after 2 p.m. with a parent."

Muranyi started the Mike Muranyi Junior Golf Foundation about a month ago to promote golf in Green County. Muranyi held the foundation's kick off Saturday and 20 golfers received discounted memberships to the Monroe Country Club for a year. The foundation is paying $120 of the $220 memberships for each of the 20 junior golfers.

"The idea is to get some more kids playing who don't have the chance to play golf," Muranyi said, who served as the PGA golf professional at Monroe Country Club for 30 years and was in the golf business for 35 years.

Muranyi is a former Wisconsin State Open champion, player of the year, match play champion, Senior Wisconsin PGA champion and Wisconsin Senior Open champion. He also played in the Senior U.S. Open.

"I have won a lot of tournaments," Muranyi said. "Now it's a good chance to give back."

Muranyi said through an auction and donations, $5,000 has already been raised for the foundation. He is also planning a foundation golf outing down the road to generate more money for scholarships and memberships.

Muranyi said by getting more children golfing, it may lead to more parents joining the Monroe Country Club.

Carter Sawdey, 11, who will be in sixth grade at Monroe Middle School, seemed excited about the opportunity.

"It just felt good knowing that I could come out on the golf course and play," Sawdey said.

Payton Sawdey, 8, said he has golfed with his family a couple of times.

Payton said his favorite part about golf is hitting the ball.

Dana Starck, who will be a freshman at Monroe High School, just returned from a Washington D.C. trip, and made it to the Monroe Country Club Saturday.

"It's exciting," Starck said. "It's a lot of fun."

The junior golfers will receive instruction in a golf clinic starting Wednesday. There will be two golf clinics in July and two in August. Junior golfers will play on Mondays and there will be junior golf tournaments on Fridays throughout the summer.

"We will give them a lot of opportunities to compete," he said.