By: Stacy M. Brown (The Washington Informer)
June 13, 2022
Eighty-one grassroots golf organizations, including two in the District of Columbia, will receive a total of $750,000 in funding to further their efforts to engage underrepresented populations of the sport.
These groups are being awarded a grant through the “Make Golf Your Thing” initiative, the industry’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in making the sport more welcome for all.
Initially introduced in 2021 by the Make Golf Your Thing youth & adult player development work group, the grant program to date has provided 155 grants to 111 unique grassroots organizations, totaling more than $1 million overall (May 2021 — 43 grants totaling $150,000; January 2022 — 31 grants totaling $150,000).
The program was established to support organizations dedicated to increasing participation among golf’s underrepresented populations.
“When the game comes together and pools every resource to grow and broaden the reach of the game, only great things can happen,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the United States Golf Association and executive sponsor of the initiative’s youth and adult player development work group. “This unifying movement is helping to make a difference in communities across America and advance the game in ways none of us can do alone.”
The grant program is part of the industry’s broader commitment to making the sport more inclusive for all.
“Access to golf in a business context is a pathway to opportunity,” said Anna Alvarez Boyd, co-founder of FairWays to Leadership, one of the 81 grant recipients. “Our group’s mission is to increase diversity in business and in golf by teaching college students from diverse backgrounds the skills they need to become effective leaders. The financial commitment of the grant program to organizations like ours will only further golf’s collective efforts to bring new and diverse audiences into our sport.”
Led by six cross-industry work groups, the initiative is specifically focused on: education & skill development, talent acquisition, procurement, human resources, youth & adult player development, and marketing and communications.
Funding for the grant program is being administered by the American Golf Industry Coalition, a partnership among golf’s leading organizations to promote and advocate for the collective interests of the sport, the initiative’s organizers said.