ORLANDO, Fla. -- The PGA Foundation and the United States Golf Association today welcomed Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), as their Official Youth Development Partner, in a new five-year mission that will introduce youth nationwide to the game of golf. Beginning in 46 selected cities, golf training equipment and instructional support from PGA Professionals will be provided through this partnership to help youth build character, develop healthy lifestyles, and learn the game of golf.
The announcement was made at the 59th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, where golf legend Jack Nicklaus, PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka and USGA Executive Director Mike Davis, were joined by baseball great and BGCA Governor Ken Griffey Jr. and Evan McElroy, senior vice president of marketing & communications for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
The program was piloted at three Clubs in 2010-11. After the new program rolls out in the initial markets this year, plans call for expanding the program to at least 150 Clubs over the next five years. Clubs will implement the five- to six-week curricula at least twice a year, with specific scheduling determined locally. The three core components of the partnership are:
- PGA Professionals will serve as instructors, utilizing space both in and out of local clubs to facilitate the PGA Sports Academy program.
- Professionals will teach basic skills and the Rules of Golf, in addition to coordinating contests and games to reinforce both the fun of the game and skill development.
- The golf training clubs and equipment provided by The PGA to each Boys & Girls Club allows for safe golf activity in limited space, and is designed for multiple users.
Over the next five years, The PGA Foundation and BGCA will extend the range of golf opportunities to members and their families, including special golf fun days at local Boys & Girls Clubs, family days at local courses, invitations to golf clinics and tournaments, and the development of league play.
"The partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America will expose millions of youth across the country to the values of golf," said Steranka. "As an alumnus of this wonderful organization, I am excited about Clubs nationwide making a difference in young people's lives. Golf offers the building blocks of hope, while offering fitness and fun, and teaching determination, focus, and discipline. Together, The PGA Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America are dedicated to helping young people achieve a great future."
The United States Golf Association joins The PGA Foundation in supporting and promoting the partnership with BCGA.
"The USGA is proud to partner with The PGA Foundation and The PGA of America to introduce the game of golf plus the fun and the skills it offers to more of our nation's youth," said USGA President Jim Hyler. "Through this partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the commitment is on display in many new areas of the country, making a difference in the lives of young people."
In addition, both will work to create greater awareness about the importance of the work being done by the 27,000 PGA Professionals, members of the PGA family, golf enthusiasts and consumers about the partnership.
"We couldn't be more excited and honored to be partnering with The PGA Foundation and USGA on this important endeavor," said McElroy. "The many merits of golf, including determination, focus, discipline, respect, and fun, will help the young people we serve become positive role models, better citizens and have even greater futures."
The PGA Foundation will support the implementation of the PGA Sports Academy program, which teaches youth age 8-13 basic golf skills along with good character and life skills promoted by Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. For many of the Club members, this will be the first time they have ever held and swung a golf club. Participants will also be afforded the opportunity to visit a local golf course, where they can practice newly learned skills in a green-grass golf environment.
The selection process included strategies targeting markets where this program could reach females and minorities in a continued effort to diversify the game. The 2012 golf program sites confirmed include:
Ardmore, Pa. (Philadelphia)
Lake Orion, Mich.
Las Vegas, Nev.
Benton Harbor, Mich.
Los Angeles, Calif.
San Diego, Calif.
Boston, Mass. (2 Clubs)
Medinah, Ill. (Chicago)
San Francisco, Calif.
St. Louis, Mo.
Orlando, Fla. (2 Clubs)
West Palm Beach, Fla.
Fort Knox, Ky.
Parris Island, S.C.
Fort Smith, Ark.
Peterson AFB, Colo.
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Kiawah Island, S.C.
Knoxville, Tenn. (2 Clubs)
About the PGA Foundation
Since 1916, The PGA of America and its members have dedicated themselves to improving lives through golf. We have helped millions of Americans representing every race, gender, social and economic background - all through a special experience with the game we love. We hope that you will join us in continuing a legacy that celebrates our history of service to others by supporting the PGA Foundation. Founded in 1978, as a charitable foundation to raise funds to support junior golf, the mission of the PGA Foundation is to "Improve Lives Through Golf," with specific focus on America's youth, persons with disabilities and minorities. In order to fulfill the mission of the PGA Foundation and also to help achieve the goals of the golf industry's efforts to grow the game, we have created four key programs that serve as pillars for success: PGA H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere); Ryder Cup Junior Academy; the PGA Golf Management Diversity Scholarship program; and local philanthropic support in 41 PGA Sections nationwide.
About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open, and 10 national amateur championships. It also conducts two state team championships and international matches. Together with the R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA's working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management pratices. It serves as a primary steward for the game's history and funds an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA's Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.usga.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.