PGA Professionals do much more than run a golf shop
Collinwood Golf Club photo
The PGA Tour gets most of the attention. But it's the PGA of America that represents the 29,000 golf professionals that form the heart and soul of the game at the local level.
In addition to running the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup, The PGA runs championships for Club Professionals at various levels, allowing them a chance to showcase their games and earn entrance into the PGA Championship. The organization is also behind the industry's annual gathering of merchandisers in Florida, The PGA Merchandise Show.
Junior golf (PGA Junior League), apprenticeship, and countless other initiatives are all part of the PGA of America's "grow the game" efforts. Perhaps none is more important than the effort announced today to support a wide variety of industry members, from aspiring players to caddies and professionals as they struggle to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the severe challenges impacting golf communities nationwide, the PGA of America established the Golf Emergency Relief Fund to provide short-term financial assistance to workers in the golf industry who face significant financial hardship, including those suffering as a result of COVID-19.
“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, PGA. “People throughout golf are driven by a strong desire to help others every day. 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 we first need to reach out and help people in our industry during this national emergency.”
The fund, which begins taking applications on Thursday, April 16 at 2:00pm EDT, will be managed by E4E Relief, an independent third-party public charity.
This relief effort was initiated by the PGA of America through a lead pledge of $5 million and a matching fund for gifts by third parties of up to $2.5 million. And here's something you won't hear every day from a corporate contribution.
The PGA contribution included every member of the executive leadership team. These key industry players voluntarily reduced their compensation. On top of that, personal donations from members of the Board of Directors have been pledged. The fund is also being supported in various ways by a number of industry organizations, including the GCSAA, PGA TOUR, LPGA, USGA, NGCOA and AGM.
Learn more now, and apply April 16 at: Relief.golf
PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said:
“The golf industry steers $4 billion to charity each year. Now, we need to come to the aid of those who make this game we love so special, to help ensure their livelihood. Our leadership team is so passionate about this that each has volunteered to take a substantial reduction from their own compensation to support the PGA’s efforts. With matching, our goal is to raise at least $10 million for this important effort.”
1.) Individuals eligible to apply for aid through the Golf Emergency Relief Fund are:
2.) PGA of America Professionals (includes Members, Students and Associates)
3.) LPGA Professionals (includes Members and Students/Apprentices)
4.) Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Members
5.) Employed or contracted as a caddie of one of the following caddie companies
(qualifying employers and their subsidiaries) Caddienow, Caddiemaster, 4C Caddies, Premier Caddies, ClubUp, CaddieU, Circuit Caddie and Caddy King
6.) Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) members
7.) Players in developmental tours operated by the PGA TOUR
(Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada, PGA TOUR China Series)
8.) Players in developmental tours operated by the LPGA (Symetra Tour)
9.) Employees of United States Golf Association (USGA) authorized Allied Golf Associations
10.) Employees of PGA of America Sections
11.) National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) Members
The first phase of the fund will distribute two tiers of funding with $500 grants for basic needs and up to $1,500 grants for critical needs, with applications being reviewed, approved and grants disbursed by E4E on a rolling first-come, first-served basis. A second phase, currently scheduled to rollout after the completion of Phase 1, will have a longer application process, and distribute funds of up to $3,500, as reviewed and approved by E4E on a rolling first-come, first-served basis.