The United States Golf Association (USGA) has awarded a $5,000 grant to First Tee of San Joaquin to further their efforts of introducing youth athletes to the game of golf and experiences that empower children to build strength and character. This grant is one of 51 other grants being awarded nationwide to local chapters affiliated with USGA Championships and Allied Golf Associations as part of the organization’s strategy to leave a positive impact on its local host communities.

Since 1997, the USGA has invested more than $26 million in grants to First Tee to provide course access for junior golfers and cultivate a life-long passion for the game. The commitment to expanding participation is part of the USGA’s mission to champion and advance the game.

“Year after year, we are seeing the positive impact that First Tee and other junior programs are having in breaking down barriers and connecting communities through sports,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “It is vital for golf’s long-term health that we continue to create pathways for all juniors to participate.”

First Tee brings kids and teens to the game of golf and leverages it as a catalyst for personal growth through experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience. With USGA’s support, First Tee of San Joaquin reaches more than 1,000 young people annually at four program locations and several after school programs, with support from 40 volunteers. First Tee of San Joaquin impacts young people through character education and life skills workshops at in-school and after-school programs.

“The USGA grant couldn’t have come at a better time for our chapter. The pandemic has caused a tremendous strain on our financial resources and, as a local nonprofit organization, we depend on local support and fundraising that has basically dried up since March. Fortunately, the USGA recognizes the need from First Tee around the country.”

The funding is part of the USGA’s annual $70 million investment back into the game, fueled by revenues generated by the U.S. Open.