While golf is a sport that can be enjoyed by players of any skill level, the costs associated with the game may make it inaccessible to some. The PGA of America is dedicated to ensuring all youth interested in learning the game have the opportunity to do so, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
The PGA of America partnered with the national African-American Sigma Pi Phi fraternity to implement the Sigma Pi Phi PGA Jr. League Golf pilot program at clubs in Florida, Georgia, Texas, California, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. Fraternity members helped identify youth of color, particularly those of lower socioeconomic status between the ages of 8 and 13 to participate in the pilot program. While the program is fully funded by PGA REACH and taught by PGA Professional coaches, the fraternity members also assist as mentors and coaches to the children. The program is achieving its goal of bringing new players into the game—of the participants in 2016, only 13 percent had ever picked up a golf club prior to the program.
The PGA of America also partners with the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation to bring the game of golf to youth who would not otherwise have access to it. The partnership helps make golf equipment accessible to these young players, to ensure that socioeconomic status is not a barrier to participating in the game.
Additionally, the PGA of America is a founding partner of The First Tee, a collaboration between the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America, PGA TOUR and USGA to bring affordable golf programs to youth, especially those from economically disadvantaged communities. The program has grown over the years, expanding into school physical education curriculum across the country. The First Tee served more than 5.3 million young people in 2016, with more than 1,000 PGA and LPGA Professionals serving as coaches or in other functions in the organization.