USGA IDEA grant program delivers $200K to First Tee chapters in support of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility efforts
LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL. (Oct. 20, 2021) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) has distributed $200,000 in grants across 20 First Tee chapters through the inaugural IDEA grant program – a dedicated effort to directly empower inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility efforts at the local golf level.
The program was created this year to address the barriers that underserved and underrepresented youths face in their potential introduction to and participation in golf and First Tee’s character-building programs. Grants range from $20,000 to $7,500 and support initiatives including transportation for youths to get to and from First Tee program locations as well as recruitment and training of diverse staff and coaches.
“We have a commitment as an organization to be an impactful partner to those in the industry who share our vision for what we want golf’s future to look like,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “Both the USGA and First Tee believe that golf is a better game now and in the future when it’s accessible and representative of everyone, and it starts at the junior level.”
“The USGA’s support is a game changer for youths in the communities that we serve,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “With these grants, our chapters are opening the door to even more youth, especially in underserved and underrepresented communities, to explore the possibilities in golf and beyond as they build their character and life lessons through the game.”
Since 1997, the USGA has invested more than $33 million among First Tee, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, and Drive, Chip & Putt programs in an effort to provide greater access to golf for juniors and cultivate a lifelong passion for the game. The commitment is part of a $1.3 million annual investment the organization makes in national programs that reach young people, fueled by revenue from the U.S. Open.
Grant applications were available to First Tee chapters located within the 14 markets where USGA championships took place in 2021 and where they are scheduled in 2022, as well as chapters affiliated with one of the association’s 59 Allied Golf Associations (AGAs). Located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, AGAs serve millions of golfers at the recreational level by increasing engagement and participation and improving the golfer experience.
The 2021 grant recipients include:
|First Tee Chapter||USGA Championship Host Communities and Supporting USGA Allied Golf Associations|
|First Tee — Central Carolina||2022 U.S. Women’s Open, Carolinas Golf Association|
|First Tee — Coachella Valley||Southern California Golf Association|
|First Tee — Connecticut||2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Connecticut State Golf Association|
|First Tee — Greater Baltimore||2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior, Maryland State Golf Association|
|First Tee — Greater Charleston||Carolinas Golf Association|
|First Tee — Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky||Greater Cincinnati Golf Association|
|First Tee — Greater Pasadena||Southern California Golf Association|
|First Tee — Greater Philadelphia||Golf Association of Philadelphia|
|First Tee — Greater Washington, DC||2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior, Maryland State Golf Association|
|First Tee — Hawaii||Hawaii State Golf Association|
|First Tee — Louisville||Kentucky Golf Association|
|First Tee — Metropolitan New York||2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur, Metropolitan Golf Association|
|First Tee — Omaha||2021 U.S. Senior Open, Nebraska Golf Association|
|First Tee — Pittsburgh||2021 U.S. Amateur, Western Pennsylvania Golf Association|
|First Tee — San Diego||2021 U.S. Open, Southern California Golf Association|
|First Tee — Sandhills||2022 U.S. Women’s Open, Carolinas Golf Association|
|First Tee — Silicon Valley||2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Northern California Golf Association|
|First Tee — Upstate South Carolina||Carolinas Golf Association|
|First Tee — West Michigan||2021 U.S. Senior Amateur, Golf Association of Michigan|
|First Tee — West Virginia||West Virginia Golf Association|