Pinehurst, North Carolina, United States: Thanks to a US$100,000 donation from the United States Golf Association (USGA), First Tee chapters across the United States are receiving grants to further their efforts to introduce life skills and the game of golf to more young people.
The grants are a continuation of the support the USGA has provided to First Tee for more than 20 years, and one of a series of initiatives on which the organisations have collaborated in 2019.
The grants are being dispersed to 25 chapters located in or around USGA championship locations and Allied Golf Associations as part of the organisation’s strategy to leave a positive, lasting impact on local host communities.
The announcement was made at the USGA’s 119th US Amateur Championship in Pinehurst. Participants from the First Tee of the Sandhills, one of the USGA grant recipients, were on hand with the chapter’s Executive Director Courtney Stiles – who recently qualified to play in next month’s US Women’s Mid-Am – to share the announcement alongside USGA Chief Executive Officer Mike Davis.
“We are so grateful to the USGA and organisations like this, as it is these partnerships that allow us to broaden our impact in communities across the country, engaging young people who we may not have otherwise reached,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee President. “Together, we will inspire youth for years to come, engaging them in the sport and helping them to become leaders in their communities.”
Davis added: “We are proud to see our First Tee grant funding directly benefit those communities that welcome us throughout the year and embrace the spirit of what a USGA championship represents. The USGA is committed to making a difference in our host communities, and we are excited to see the long-term impact these grants will have in welcoming more junior golfers to the game, and to inspire them to play it for a lifetime.”
The USGA has supported the First Tee since its inception in 1997, providing more than US$26 million in grants to the organisation. Their shared commitment to bringing more young people to the game was highlighted during June’s US Open Championship at Pebble Beach, where the two organisations debuted the Junior Experience Featuring First Tee.
The on-site interactive experience connected youths with the excitement and values associated with golf and First Tee programmes offered throughout the country.
With the USGA’s support, First Tee chapters are reaching more than 136,000 young people annually at more than 1,200 programme locations, with support from 25,000 volunteers. Additionally, First Tee has been introduced to more than 10,000 schools and youth centres reaching millions of additional kids through these programmes.