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: