'Play Golf Native America Day' tees off in Beaumont, Calif.

Play Golf Native America Day
PGA of America
Children gather for 'Play Golf Native America Day.'
Associated Press

Series: PGA

Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | 9:52 a.m.

BEAUMONT, Calif. -- Local youth and their families joined the Notah Begay III Foundation, PGA of America and Morongo Band of Mission Indians, at the Play Golf Native America Day, conducted Nov. 19, at The Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon.

The free event featured complimentary golf instruction from Southern California PGA Professionals as well as interactive golf and fitness stations for youth and families. The event concluded with a one-mile health walk. Attendees included youth from the Boys and Girls Club from Redland, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and the surrounding Beaumont community.

"The Southern California PGA was proud to be involved with the PGA and the NB3 Foundation to bring the fun of golf to school age children from local middle schools and local Boys and Girls Clubs," said Assistant Executive Director of the Southern California PGA Nikki Gatch. "The boys and girls had a great day of fun while enjoying an introduction to golf, physical fitness and the great lifestyle golf provides."

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and health and wellness are specifically at the forefront of the partnership as The PGA and NB3 Foundation look to create awareness and to help fight childhood obesity and diabetes. The Play Golf America events and follow-up PGA-NB3 Foundation programs are designed to keep Native American youth engaged with fitness and nutrition on and off the golf course.

"At Morongo, we are committed to helping our young people lead active, healthy and productive lives, and that starts with encouraging children to exercise and make healthy choices," Morongo Band of Mission Indians Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said. "Athletes like Notah Begay, who inspire kids and help teach them the importance of fitness and nutrition, are putting our young people on the path to a healthier future."

There are more than 70 tribally-owned golf courses across the United States. This growth has resulted in increased interest in the sport by Native Americans. In addition to "Play Golf Native America" Days, NB3 Foundation and the PGA are launching a grant program to support golf in Native American communities. Among the areas of support are golf equipment, apparel, transportation, costs of golf instruction, course fees; providing curriculum for NB3 & PGA Sports Academy, diabetes and obesity prevention training and incentives for players.

"The NB3 Foundation is grateful to the PGA of America for its support in helping to provide access and opportunities for Native American youth to participate in golf while also promoting the importance of their health and wellbeing," said Executive Director of the Notah Begay III Foundation Crystal Echo Hawk. "We hope through this important partnership and with partners such as the Morongo Tribe and it's Tukwet Canyon Golf Course that we will be able to further create opportunities for Native American youth and communities to access and grow the game nationwide."

About The PGA of America
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: 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 a multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, 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. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.

About The Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon
The Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon is a 36-hole world-class golf facility that serves as the "Home of the Southern California PGA." The golf club boasts two exceptional golf courses: The Champions and The Legends, which plays 7,377 yards and 7,442 yards from the back tee. They surround a magnificent 33,000 square foot grand clubhouse with full food & beverage services.

The Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon has the country's best practice facilities with a double-end 420 yard driving range, two large putting greens, and two chipping greens. Both golf courses have six sets of tees and can be challenging, yet enjoyable for any skill level of golfer.

About the Notah Begay III Foundation
In 2005, Notah Begay III established the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Begay established the Foundation to address the profound health and wellness issues impacting Native American youth and to empower those youth and help them realize their potential as tomorrow's leaders. The mission of the Foundation is to reduce the incidences of obesity and diabetes and advance the lives of Native American youth through sports and wellness programming. To this end, the mission the Foundation supports is the development of sustainable, evidence-based and innovative soccer and golf programs designed by Native Americans for Native American youth that promote physical fitness, wellness and leadership development. For more information on Notah Begay III and the Foundation, visit: www.nb3foundation.com.