As director of The First Tee of Minneapolis, I feel obligated to clarify a few things about golf in the city (“Mpls. golf courses below par,” Feb. 14).

First: The $34 million cited for upgrades includes all money to rebuild every facility, not just the critical needs.

Second: Golf is a giant in terms of participation. It benefits every age and race of the community with exercise (five miles of walking in 18 holes). And, remember, golf courses were here first and are green spaces. Theodore Wirth wanted it that way.

Third: There is a huge junior golf movement in this country with programs like mine. My program by 2015 will have more than 20,000 kids through schools, park centers and on-course programming. Our junior leagues at most facilities are full, with a waiting list. Golf courses will realize the benefits of our “stocking the pond” for years to come.

All this despite the opinions of nongolfers who want to smear golf and try to take land for their own political reasons. We need to be building and improving more facilities, not closing them. In the golf community, the glass is half full.