USGA Foundation Gives Grants
'Many aspects of golf can be used to effectively convey life lessons,' said USGA President Reed Mackenzie. 'Through these grants, the USGA shows its continued dedication to providing unique opportunities for those who might not otherwise have access to the game.'
Since 1997, the USGA has awarded more than $34 million in grants through its 'For the Good of the Game' initiative. This 10-year, $50 million dollar initiative has traditionally focused on programming for economically disadvantaged youth and individuals with disabilities, as well as introducing youth to the game of golf through caddieing and other work-based programs.
Beyond its grants program, the USGA partners with national organizations such as the Ladies Professional Golf Association, National Alliance for Accessible Golf, National Golf Course Owners Association, National Alliance for Youth Sports, and the World Golf Foundation. Through these partnerships, the USGA promotes golf programs for youth, affordable and accessible golf course access, girls' golf programs, and initiatives for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the USGA introduces talented recent college graduates to the world of philanthropy and develops their professional skills through its Fellowship in Leadership and Service.
This most recent group of grants included the Foundation's second-largest single grant for junior golf programs to date, a three-year commitment of $225,000 to the Mid-South Junior Golf Association (MSJGA), in Memphis, Tenn. Founded in 1991 to expose inner city youth to the game of golf at no cost, the MSJGA reaches thousands of youth in the Memphis area. The USGA grant will go toward junior golf instruction, course access and education. The MSJGA has its own nine-hole golf course and is currently building a second nine-hole programming site with the help of the Bridgestone-Firestone Corporation and the Bridgestone-Firestone Corporation Trust.
'We've been fortunate to receive a great deal of support to help us fulfill our mission of positively impacting kids through golf,' said Vince Alfonso, executive director of MSJGA. 'The USGA has played an instrumental role in our ability to expand and better serve the youth of Memphis.'
Another significant investment made by the USGA at this meeting was a $120,000 grant to the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce Charity Foundation (LAJCC) for its Urban Youth Junior Golf Program. The mission of LAJCC is to serve the community by providing innovative projects and programs, which benefit at-risk youth. LAJCC achieves its mission through the volunteer efforts of its membership of young professionals. The Urban Youth Golf Program curriculum runs for 24 weeks during the year, providing participants two hours of instruction each week. To ensure continued access opportunities, the program has teamed up with 50 Los Angeles-area courses to offer Urban Youth participants discounted access after completing the program.
A complete list of all grants from the winter 2003 Grants Committee Meeting can be found below. For more information on the USGA Foundation's 'For the Good of the Game' Grants Program, contact the grants office at (719) 471-4810 or email@example.com. For a more detailed list, including program summaries and contact information, visit the Web site at www.usga.org/foundation.
Winter 2003 Grants Committee Meeting
Organizations Receiving Grant Awards Listed Alphabetically by State
Organization Name City, State Grant Amount
Tennesse Valley Jazz Society Huntsville, Ala. $17,000
Mississippi County Arkansas
Economic Opportunity Commission Blytheville, Ark. $21,800
Fresno-Greater San Joaquin Valley Junior
Golf Foundation Fresno, Calif. $75,000
Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce
Charity Foundation Los Angeles, Calif. $120,000
City of Salinas Recreation Department Salinas, Calif. $11,000
The First Tee of the Central Coast Santa Barbara, Calif. $31,200
National Sports Center for the Disabled Denver, Colo. $30,000
Gold Crown Foundation Greenwood Village, Colo. $4,050
Gold Crown Foundation Greenwood Village, Colo. $25,000
LPGA Foundation Daytona Beach, Fla. $200,000
Hollybrook Homes Apartments Jacksonville, Fla. $30,000
The First Tee of Jacksonville Jacksonville, Fla. $28,400
National Alliance for Youth Sports West Palm Beach, Fla. $100,000
School District of Palm Beach County West Palm Beach, Fla. $23,600
Georgia Junior Golf Foundation Athens, Ga. $30,000
Hawaii State Women's Golf Association Honolulu, Hawaii $5,500
World Champions Charitable Foundation Okoboji, Iowa $4,000
YMCA of Southwest Illinois Belleville, Ill. $2,000
A Sporting Chance Foundation Chicago, Ill. $19,400
ABJ Community Services Chicago, Ill. $15,000
BROCK Social Services Organization
for the South Side of Chicago Chicago, Ill. $25,000
South Suburban Home School & Gym Group Chicago, Ill. $8,000
Rockford Park District Rockford, Ill. $80,00
Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana New Augusta, Ind. $3,000
Iberia Parish Recreation District 1 New Iberia, La. $75,000
The Rehabilitation Hospital
of the Cape and the Islands East Sandwich, Mass. $30,000
University of Maryland Medical
Systems Foundation Baltimore, Md. $17,290
Baltimore County Public Schools Towson, Md. $14,800
The Midnight Golf Program Detroit, Mich. $9,000
Rochester Area Disabled Athletics & Recreation Rochester, Minn. $2,000
Minot Junior Golf Association Minot, N.D. $25,000
Several Sources Foundation Ramsey, N.J. $5,700
The ARC of Atlantic County Somers Point, N.J. $12,000
Silver State Jr. Golf Academy Reno, Nev. $18,000
Children & Family Mental Health Services Amityville, N.Y. $11,300
Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo Buffalo, N.Y. $8,500
Greene County Golf Course Association Greenville, N.Y. $19,000
Pymatuning Valley Schools Andover, Ohio $2,050
The First Tee of Canton Canton, Ohio $75,000
Fairway Fifth-Graders Cincinnati, Ohio $15,000
Whittier Middle School Lorain, Ohio $5,430
Lake County Educational Service Center Painesville, Ohio $38,500
Forum Health Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital Warren, Ohio $21,000
Easter Seal Society
of South Central Pennsylvania East York, Pa. $3,000
The First Tee of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa. $50,000
Alternative Education Program Port Allegany, Pa. $3,500
Upper Bucks County YMCA Quakertown, Pa. $2,500
Christian Sports International Zelienople, Pa. $16,000
Golf Foundation of Rhode Island Providence, R.I. $75,000
Fairway Outreach Columbia, S.C. $21,300
Blue Ridge Junior Golf Program Salem, S.C. $2,500
The First Tee of Spartanburg Spartanburg, S.C. $20,000
Mid-South Junior Golf Association Memphis, Tenn. $225,000
City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department Austin, Texas $50,000
Kids Sports Network San Antonio, Texas $4,340
Northern Texas PGA Jr. Golf Foundation Wylie, Texas $12,000
Fairfax County Park Authority Fairfax, Va. $3,500
The Boys & Girls Club of Virginia Peninsula Newport News, Va. $12,000
Richmond Department of Parks and Recreation Richmond, Va. $18,000
Greene County Recreation Department Stanardsville, Va. $9,000
Pacific Northwest Golf Association Seattle, Wash. $11,000
Seattle Junior Golf Foundation Seattle, Wash. $48,200
Langston Jr. Boys & Girls Golf Club Washington, D.C. $18,000
If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it
NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.
She says she always gets nervous starting a round.
You don’t believe it, though.
She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .
Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .
Or disarming ticking bombs . . .
“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.
Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.
Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.
Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.
At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.
She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.
She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.
And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.
There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.
Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.
It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.
Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.
Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.
“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”
About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.
Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.
“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”
David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.
“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”
Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.
Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . .
“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.
Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.
“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”
Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.
“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.
Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.
National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.
The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.
Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.
These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:
Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.
This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.
“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”
Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.
In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.
If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.
“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”
Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.
Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.
''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''
The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.
The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.
''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''
Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.
''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''
First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).
Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.
''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.
''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''