AUGUSTA, Ga. -- In an effort to promote interest and participation in the game of golf, the Masters Tournament Foundation, United States Golf Association (USGA) and The PGA of America announced Monday the creation of the Drive Chip & Putt Championship, a free, nationwide junior skills competition that will conclude at Augusta National Golf Club in 2014.
Participants in the inaugural Drive Chip & Putt Championship will advance through local and regional qualifiers conducted throughout the United States. Competitors will be comprised of boys and girls ages 7-15, and they will compete in separate divisions in four age categories. The regional champions in each of the boys and girls divisions from the four age categories will advance to the finals to be held at Augusta National the Sunday before the Masters Tournament, April 6, 2014. The Championship finals will be produced and broadcast by Golf Channel.
“Generations of players have been inspired by the dream of sinking a winning putt on the 18th green at Augusta National,” said Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament Foundation. “Now an exciting opportunity exists to make that dream a reality. I am confident that our collective efforts with the USGA and The PGA of America will showcase the talents of kids who already play this game and motivate others to give the sport a try.”
Said Glen Nager, President of the USGA: “Among our many responsibilities as a governing body is finding creative ways to make the game more accessible to our nation’s young people. The Drive Chip & Putt Championship Championship is an exciting new opportunity to fulfill this role, and together with our partners at the Masters Tournament Foundation and The PGA of America we look forward to leading its long-term success.”
“The game of golf is built on several fundamental skills, which our 27,000 PGA Professionals around the country teach players of all ages every day,” said Ted Bishop, President of The PGA of America. “The ability to successfully drive, chip and putt a golf ball are some of the basics to the enjoyment of the sport, and we believe this competition will motivate young players to work hard, practice these principle skills and learn to make golf a game of a lifetime.”
Local qualifying events will take place at courses in 19 states and Washington, D.C. In total, local qualifiers will provide more than 17,000 opportunities to compete. An extensive network of PGA Professionals and USGA professional staff and volunteers will conduct these competitions around the country.
Regional qualifying will be conducted at courses in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas (2), Virginia and Washington.
For more information about the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, including official rules, qualifying sites or to register, please visit www.DriveChipandPutt.com .
About the Masters Tournament Foundation
The Masters Tournament Foundation, inspired by the enduring philosophies of Masters Tournament founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, is committed to promoting golf’s domestic and international development through financial investment and active participation in initiatives aimed at preserving the traditions of the game and sharing its many virtues.
The Masters Tournament – since its very beginning – strives to provide added exposure to the game of golf and inspire interest in the sport worldwide. For more information about the Masters, visit www.masters.com .
About the United States Golf Association
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, 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 practices. 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 about the USGA, visit www.usga.org .
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.