KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City man tore down his childhood home Monday to make way for a golf course he has dreamed of creating for over two decades.
Chris Harris’ pitch-and-putt golf course has been 25 years in the making – that’s the time it took for him to acquire each lot on the blighted city block.
The last vacant house standing, the home Harris grew up in, faced a wrecking crew Monday to clear space for another green and six more tees at what’s become the Harris Park Sports and Activity Center.
Through a partnership with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and The First Tee of Greater Kansas City, Harris’ dream of providing city kids a place to learn golf has become a reality.
“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 said. “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.”
Harris said his goal was to make the course as nice as any on the PGA tour, and many say he’s succeeded.
Groups like the Kansas City Vette Ryders have helped raise money for the project, but Harris takes it upon himself to maintain the grounds, pick up trash and cut grass every week.
In another month or so, children and adults are expected to be a common sight on this course, learning the basics of a sport that may help transform their lives.