Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States: The PGA of America has pledged US$5 million to start a fund to offer financial assistance to golf industry workers who are suffering hardship during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The golf industry is in an unprecedented crisis and our friends, colleagues and their families need our help right away,” said Suzy Whaley, President of the PGA of America, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
The PGA Tour, the LPGA, the United States Golf Association (USGA), the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Golf Club Owners Association and the Association of Golf Merchandisers have agreed to support the fund in various ways. Moreover, The PGA of America will match up to another US$2.5 million received from third parties.
The PGA, which represents club professionals, has nearly 29,000 members, but Whaley said it is hoped the fund will help members of other golf organisations, club caddies and players on developmental tours.
“We have to ensure that the heart and soul of our game – our people – are able to get back on their feet and continue to serve others down the road,” Whaley said. “Eventually, golf will return, but we first need to reach out and help people in our industry during this national emergency.”
The PGA said other organisations, including the PGA Tour and the LPGA, the USGA are supporting the fund, as are groups representing course superintendents, course owners and merchandisers. “Our hope is the industry gets behind it,” Whaley said.
Those eligible to apply for aid include PGA of America professionals, LPGA professionals, GCSAA members, caddies, members of the AGM, Allied Golf Association employees and members of the NGCOA are eligible to apply. Professional golfers from the developmental tours operated by the PGA Tour and LPGA are eligible to apply.