New USGA Grants For Juniors And Individuals With Disabilities
December 20, 2007
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Colorado Springs, Colo. -The United States Golf Association (USGA) has awarded 45 new grants for the final quarter of 2007, totaling $870,176, to support golf programs across the nation for economically disadvantaged juniors and individuals with disabilities. The grant funds, part of the USGA's $5-million total commitment for 2007, will be used for instruction, golf course and range access, equipment, transportation and the construction of accessible golf facilities.
The USGA has awarded more than $58 million since the Association implemented its "For the Good of the Game" grants initiative in 1997.
The USGA awarded a large percentage of this round of funds to support the construction of short courses, driving ranges and practice areas for juniors and individuals with disabilities. These alternative facilities are often the only accessible practice facilities for program participants.
"Affordable and accessible golf facilities are a crucial component of the grants initiative," said USGA President Walter W. Driver Jr. "Without these facilities, junior golf programs and golf programs for individuals with disabilities might be unable to fulfill the mission of the USGA grants program of making golf affordable and accessible to everyone who wishes to play. These grants impact every individual participant, program and community."
Among the larger grants are $100,000 to the YMCA of Pueblo, Colorado, $75,000 to The Connecticut Golf Foundation in Rocky Hill, Conn., $47,500 to the North Kohala Community Resource Center in Hawi, Hawaii, and $34,000 to Eliada Homes, Inc., in Asheville, N.C.
The grants cover 27 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. North Carolina received four grants. Two of the non-traditional programs rewarded were "Every Woman's Place" in Muskegon, Mich., which received an $18,000 grant, and the St. Croix Junior Golf Association, which received a $17,500 grant.
TheConnecticutGolf Foundation - Rocky Hill,Conn.
A USGA grant of $75,000 will assist in the construction of a junior practice facility for participants of The First Tee program in Rocky Hill, Conn. Designed by the PGA Tour staff, the facility will be built in conjunction with a state-of-the-art practice facility constructed at the TPC River Highlands. The project will include a four-hole short course, driving range and practice areas. The Connecticut Golf Foundation is also planning to build an on-site learning center in order to provide life skills and golf education year-round. The short course will be available only to The First Tee of Connecticut participants. Course and range access will cost juniors no more than $1.
Eliada Homes, Inc. -Asheville,N.C.
Eliada Homes, Inc., in Asheville, N.C., is an agency serving children through residential, foster care and day-care programs. Most children who are involved with Eliada have psychological and emotional challenges that stem from abusive situations. With the help of a $34,000 USGA grant, the organization plans to construct a driving range that will be used for therapeutic recreation for the students. The driving range will be the first golf-related activity undertaken by Eliada Homes, which previously has demonstrated success with therapeutic equestrian and motor bike programs.
The North Kohala Community Resource Center (NKCRC) in Hawi, Hawaii, was founded in 2002 as a non-profit organization to provide resources to volunteers who contribute time and talents to improve the community. The NKCRC operates the Kamehameha Park Golf Learning Center, which features a six-hole course and practice facility built with the help of a 2005 grant from the USGA. This new $47,500 grant will be used for the construction of an additional three holes, giving the participants the benefit of playing full nine-hole rounds. The majority of construction will be overseen by John Mauro, a local PGA professional. Mauro and other volunteers will donate their time free of charge to oversee the construction work, just as they did with the prior construction. Participants in the program come from economically disadvantaged families and receive course access free of charge.
The YMCA of Pueblo, Colorado is in the midst of a $16-million capital campaign to construct a state-of-the-art YMCA Community Campus, which will include a 57,000 square-foot building and multiple sports fields. Now, with the aid of a $100,000 USGA grant, the YMCA of Pueblo will add a golf practice facility. That facility will include a driving range, putting green and chipping area for use by the participants of The First Tee of Pueblo. Many of the 350 children in the program come from rural settings and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The YMCA will be the central organization helping them learn to play golf.
USGA Grants Initiative: A Capsule History
The United States Golf Association is working to make the game of golf affordable and accessible. Since 1997, its grants initiative has traditionally focused on programming for economically-disadvantaged children and individuals with disabilities. The USGA Executive Committee has committed to this grants initiative through at least 2013, which will bring the total anticipated USGA grants pool to $85 million in providing financial support and assistance to deserving golf programs. Beyond its grants initiative, the USGA is a partner with other national organizations to promote affordable and accessible facility development, course access, girls' golf and initiatives for individuals with disabilities.
For more information on the USGA Grants Initiative, contact the Grants office at (719)