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PGA of America establishes Golf Emergency Relief Fund

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The PGA of America announced Monday that it has established the Golf Emergency Relief Fund, which is geared toward aiding industry professionals who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The relief effort was initiated by a $5 million donation from the PGA of America, which has also promised to match up to $2.5 million in third-party gifts. Those funds are the product of voluntary salary reductions from "every member of the executive leadership team" as well as personal donations from members of the board of directors.

"The golf industry is in an unprecedented crisis, and our friends, colleagues and their families need our help right away," said PGA president Suzy Whaley. "We have to ensure that the heart and soul of our game - our people - are able to get back on their feet and continue to serve others down the road. Eventually, golf will return, but first we need to reach out and help people in our industry during this national emergency."

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The relief fund will be operated by an independent, third-party public charity, and applications for funds will be accepted as early as April 16. The group of potential applicants includes a wide swath of the golf industry, ranging from PGA of America professionals to caddies, superintendents, golf course owners and developmental tour players.

The initial phase of grants will offer two tiers of funding: $500 for "basic needs" and $1,500 for "critical needs." A second phase is expected to include distributions up to $3,500. All applications will be reviewed and approved on a first-come, first-served basis.