PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Over the past two weeks, four Play Golf America University programs from coast-to-coast have hosted check presentations on behalf of 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup Team members.
Play Golf America University is a PGA of America college and university golf program, designed to teach and engage students in the game of golf through PGA Professional instruction and other golf programs.
Ryder Cup Team members each received $50,000 to donate to colleges and universities of their choice and help support or start that school's Play Golf America University program. Check presentations have recently been held at Spelman College (on behalf of 2010 Captain Corey Pavin), the University of San Diego (on behalf of Phil Mickelson), the University of Arizona (presented by Jim Furyk) and Coastal Carolina University (on behalf of Dustin Johnson).
Spelman College's presentation took place Feb. 19, with PGA Director of Business and Community Relations Earnie Ellison joined by Georgia PGA Executive Director Michael A. Paull. A check of $25,000 on Pavin's behalf was made to Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College.
An All-American at UCLA, Pavin showed his support for PGA diversity initiatives at historically black colleges/universities by also designating that $25,000 be made to Grambling State University.
In 2001, as Atlanta Athletic Club hosted the PGA Championship, Spelman College became one of five universities in the Atlanta area to receive funding from The PGA of America and Atlanta Athletic Club to offer Golf: For Business and Life (now Play Golf America University). The program is designed to help grow interest in the game of golf at the university level by teaching college juniors, seniors and graduate students basic golf skills, etiquette and golf terminology, to encourage them to use golf as a business tool after graduation.
Play Golf America University has been well received by students at Spelman College, including Sarah Jones, who joined the class to learn how to use golf as a business skill while learning Mandarin, attending graduate school and gaining a position in international affairs.
Since its inception, The PGA of America has distributed more than $6.7 million to 50 participating colleges and universities throughout the United States on behalf of members of the U.S. Ryder Cup Teams as a means to support this initiative. To date, PGA Professionals have provided instruction to more than 29,000 college students through this program.