SERVING THE GAME
51 First Tee Chapters Benefit From USGA Grants in 2020 August 20, 2020 | Liberty Corner, N.J. By Danny Vohden, USGA

The First Tee helps has played a role in bringing smiles and life skills to thousands of junior golfers. (Jason E. Miczek/USGA)

The USGA has provided $200,000 in grants to be allocated across 51 First Tee chapters throughout the United States in its ongoing commitment to making the game more accessible and welcoming for juniors. The grants are part of an annual $1.3 million investment in national junior golf programs.

In addition to the grants, the association has pledged $125,000 to help The First Tee develop innovative digital tools that enable stronger connections between youngsters, parents, chapters and coaches, bringing the USGA’s total investment to $325,000 for 2020.

Since 1997, the USGA has invested a total of more than $33 million among First Tee, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, and Drive, Chip & Putt in an effort to provide greater access to golf for juniors and cultivate a lifelong passion for the game. The commitment to expanding participation is part of the USGA’s mission to champion and advance the game.  

“Year after year we are seeing the positive impact that First Tee and other junior programs are having in breaking down barriers and connecting communities through sports,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “It is vital for golf’s long-term health that we continue to create pathways for all juniors to participate.”

Grant applications were available to First Tee chapters located within the 14 markets where USGA championships were scheduled to take place in 2020, as well as chapters affiliated with one of the association’s 59 Allied Golf Associations (AGAs). Located in all 50 states, AGAs serve millions of golfers at the recreational level by increasing engagement and participation, and improving the golfer experience.

These 51 First Tee chapters have the potential to reach more than 1 million young people through programs on golf courses, as well as through schools and after-school partnerships.

First Tee brings kids and teens to the game of golf and leverages it as a catalyst for personal growth through experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience. Through chapters in 150 communities and more than 10,000 schools and 1,200 after-school partnerships, First Tee reaches youths ages 5-18 from all backgrounds.

"The USGA's commitment to investing in First Tee over the years continues to have a lasting impact on the game as well as countless young people in communities across our country,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. "We are offering a meaningful and positive experience through golf that helps young people uncover who they are and grow personally. There is no better sport in which to do this, and we are thankful for the USGA’s confidence in our work.”

The funding is part of the USGA’s annual $70 million investment in the game fueled by revenues generated by the U.S. Open.

The 2020 grant recipients include:

The First Tee Chapter USGA Championship Host Communities and Supporting USGA Allied Golf Associations

First Tee — Aiken

2020 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, Carolinas Golf Association

First Tee — Central Arkansas

Arkansas State Golf Association

First Tee — Central Iowa

Iowa Golf Association

First Tee — Central Mississippi

Mississippi Golf Association

First Tee — Central Washington

2020 U.S. Amateur

First Tee — Coachella Valley

2021 U.S. Open, Southern California Golf Association

First Tee — Connecticut

2020 U.S. Open, 2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Connecticut State Golf Association

First Tee — Eastern Michigan

2020 U.S. Senior Amateur, Golf Association of Michigan

First Tee — Fresno

Northern California Golf Association

First Tee — Greater Austin

Texas Golf Association

First Tee — Greater El Paso

Texas Golf Association

First Tee — Greater Philadelphia

2020 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, Golf Association of Philadelphia

First Tee — Greater Portland

2020 U.S. Amateur, Oregon Golf Association

First Tee — Greater Richmond

2020 U.S. Mid-Amateur, Virginia State Golf Association

First Tee — Greater Sacramento

2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Northern California Golf Association

First Tee — Greater Trenton

2020 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, New Jersey State Golf Association

First Tee — Greater Washington, D.C.

2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur, Maryland State Golf Association

First Tee — Greater Wilmington (N.C.)

Carolinas Golf Association

First Tee — Green Valley Ranch

2020 U.S. Girls’ Junior, Colorado Golf Association

First Tee — Howard County

2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur, Maryland State Golf Association

First Tee — Indiana

Indiana Golf Association

First Tee — Louisville

Kentucky Golf Association

First Tee — Lowcountry

2020 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur

First Tee — Massachusetts

Mass. Golf Association  

First Tee — Metropolitan New York

2020 U.S. Open, 2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Metropolitan Golf Association

First Tee — Mid-Michigan

2021 U.S. Senior Amateur, Golf Association of Michigan

First Tee — Monterey County

2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Northern California Golf Association

First Tee — New Hampshire

New Hampshire Golf Association

First Tee — Northwest Florida

Florida State Golf Association

First Tee — Omaha

Nebraska Golf Association

First Tee — Pine Mountain

Kentucky Golf Association

First Tee — San Diego

2021 U.S. Open, Southern California Golf Association

First Tee — San Joaquin (Calif.)

2021 U.S. Women’s Open

First Tee — Siouxland

Iowa Golf Association

First Tee — Tennessee

Tennessee Golf Association

First Tee — Piney Woods

Texas Golf Association  

First Tee — Phoenix

Arizona Golf Association

First Tee — Pikes Peak

2020 U.S. Girls’ Junior, Colorado Golf Association

First Tee — Roanoke Valley

2020 U.S. Mid-Amateur, Virginia State Golf Association

First Tee — San Francisco

2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Northern California Golf Association

First Tee — San Juan County, N.M.

Sun Country Golf Association

First Tee — Sandhills

Carolinas Golf Association

First Tee — Silicon Valley

2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Northern California Golf Association

First Tee — South Dakota

South Dakota Golf Association

First Tee — Tri-Valley

2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Northern California Golf Association

First Tee — Triad

Carolinas Golf Association

First Tee — Twin Cities

2020 U.S. Junior Amateur, Minnesota Golf Association

First Tee — Upstate

2020 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, Carolinas Golf Association

First Tee — Virginia Blue Ridge

2020 U.S. Mid-Amateur

First Tee — West Michigan

2020 U.S. Senior Amateur, Golf Association of Michigan

First Tee — West Virginia

West Virginia Golf Association