PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The PGA of America has committed $50,000 to the Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation (LOGF) over a two-year period to support its efforts to form a network of "Ambassador" facilities that offer low-cost instruction by PGA and LPGA Professionals, and playing opportunities for new golfers. Ambassador facilities and their staff also will support ongoing "Neighborhood" events, bringing mobile golf experiences into local communities.
The Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation was launched Tuesday at Goose Creek Golf Course in Riverside, Calif., where LOGF announced PGA of America support among its fundraising efforts.
In addition to financial support, The PGA of America will partner with the LOGF by designating PGA Golf Club of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and its nearby state of the art practice venue - the PGA Center for Golf Learning & Performance – as a Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation "Ambassador" Facility.
"The PGA of America is very pleased to support the Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation by helping facilities leverage the opportunity to attract new golfers who will receive the expert instruction and advice of PGA Professionals," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "Lorena Ochoa's rise to stardom in women's professional golf was made possible by combining her talent and her dedication with a passion for the game. That same passion now is part of her Foundation designed to bring new people into golf, who we all hope will be among the next generation of players. Lorena' mission is one that is embraced by PGA Professionals everywhere."
The goal of the Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation is to grow diversity in golf by providing underrepresented demographics, which include the Hispanic community, with opportunity to learn, play, and pursue careers in golf. Ochoa, who retired from competitive professional golf in 2010 at age 28, won 27 LPGA events, including two major championships. She was the No. 1-ranked player in the world for three consecutive years and was listed by Forbes and TIME in 2008 as among the "Top 100 Most Important People on Earth."
Ochoa also was the 2010 Golf Writers Association of America Charlie Bartlett Award recipient Lorena Ochoa, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of underprivileged children in her home country of Mexico, was recently named recipient of the Golf Writers Association of America's Charlie Bartlett Award for unselfish contributions to the betterment of society.
"When I first picked up a golf club, I had my dreams and I was fortunate to receive advice and counsel from many along the journey," said Ochoa. "What makes me excited about our Foundation is that we are working to provide opportunities for young people to achieve their dreams. We thank The PGA of America for its support of a shared mission to grow the game among new audiences, especially those from my homeland, who deserve the same opportunities to achieve success through golf."
Ochoa pointed out that six percent of golfers in the U.S. are Hispanic, and that golf needs to reflect the demographics of the United States. As of 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Hispanics make up 15.8 percent of the population.
The Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation will introduce golf instruction in schools and partner with golf facilities, allowing youngsters to make the transition from the playground to the fairway. The designated LOGF facilities will offer Get Golf Ready and the PGA Sports Academy curriculum. The Foundation also will introduce golf through "Neighborhood Golf Events" in non-traditional settings such as community centers, soccer tournaments, and shopping center parking lots. Those events will include inflatable nets and other mobile golf experiences.
"We're excited to officially announce a partnership between the Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation and The PGA of America," said Jason Taylor, executive director of the LOGF and president of the Southern California PGA Section. "Lorena and The PGA form the ideal twosome for carrying out our missions of using golf as the vehicle for teaching life skills to children and young adults as well as introducing golf to the Hispanic community."
For more information about the Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation, contact PGA Professional Jason Taylor at (951) 712-7843.