As legal sports betting continues to expand across the country, the PGA Tour and game of golf is at the forefront of engagement and entertainment. Its fame and popularity is reaching millions of fans, and a new generation of followers.
However, behind the scenes in communities across America, and countries across the world, the game of golf is growing in different ways. In a major part, thanks to volunteers and community programs that are making a major impact on a younger generation.
Golf — My Future, My Game is an ambitious program that aspires to grow the game one new golfer at a time. It may also be providing options for better life choices in general.
PGA Tour’s younger generation
The PGA Tour’s Florida Swing teed off at The Honda Classic and is working it’s way to Georgia for The Masters in early April. It naturally follows that the golfers, tournaments and scoring are all receiving headlines from major media networks. That’s especially true as legal sports betting expands across the country and potentially in Georgia sooner rather than later.
Just as instructors have motivated the younger generation of professional golfers to reach for the stars, the younger generation is also moving forward to inspire their teachers. One such inspiration is 23-year-old Chilean golfer Joaquin Niemann, who just last week won The Genesis Invitational in California. Another to forward the fame was the 25-year-old, former Texas Longhorn Scottie Scheffler , when capturing the recent Phoenix Open.
Golf. My Future. My Game.
As seen in Golf Digest, Golf: My Future, My Game founder Craig Kirby is making a greater investment in youngsters. This program is designed to teach the game, as well as provide potential career opportunities that come with it.
“Our purpose is to work with multicultural communities in engaging and opening doors to create a comfort and interest in golf,” Kirby said. “We’re looking to pique interest and a connection to the game through their lens.”
Founded in 2013, Golf My Future My Game was launched, introducing golf to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity. Kirby and his program has shifted the paradigm in the world of golf.
With these opportunities, he has developed strategic alliances, allowing hundreds of children across the country to uncover important life lessons. It has aldditionally allowed them to participate in proud communal traditions.
Youth are also equipped with career development skills from the challenges they experience perfecting their game of golf.
One example is a collaboration with the National Links Trust & the Western Golf Association. This alliance affords students Caddie experience, and an entrepreneurial platform highlighting economic opportunities via exposure to stipend-paying real–world employment. The goal of this is for participants to gain technical and soft skills.
The programs through GMFMG reaches a young generation of diverse backgrounds. Golf: My Future, My Game is creating strategic alliance initiatives for education and career development in the sport of golf.
Partners for the greater good
The GMFMG has partnered with the following groups to grow the game and provide more opportunities to younger people. These groups are enthusiastic to help youths eager to learn the game of golf and grow in life.
- World Golf Foundation
- PGA of America
- United States Golf Association (USGA)
- Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
- Women of Color Golf
- Washington Government Relations Group Foundation
- National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore
- Albion College
- Auburn University
- Georgetown University Athletic Department.
“We bring tradition, history and golf to young people, women, and people of color. Our programs are designed to grow the game of golf, improve golf games, and help build meaningful relationships with players, corporate partners, and philanthropists.”
The program exists in five cities — Detroit; Washington, D.C.; Dayton, Ohio; Atlanta; and New Orleans—and is limited to 20 kids at a time.
Cameron Champ is an advocate for serious change
The cost to play golf with equipment, greens fees and lessons is a hurdle that hinders many people from learning or playing the game. While children and teenagers dream of becoming a star athlete like Tiger Woods, it’s 26-year-old PGA pro Cameron Champ stepping in to make a difference.
Cameron is one of the few African American golfers on the PGA Tour, and is also taking action to help young people feel more comfortable in playing the game of golf and pursuing their dreams.
The Mack Champ Invitational, sponsored by the Cameron Champ Foundation, is now the only national junior golf event that features only girls and boys of color, ages 9 to 18.
This is just the beginning
As a result, Cameron Champ makes a considerable impact, and Craig Kirby and his team at GMFMG provide more opportunities to learn the game of golf. It’s really the personal focus given to participants that is the fundamental grip on gaining an interest in learning golf.
“The first thing we’re doing is taking interest in the young person,” he continued. “Once you have that interest and you can talk to them, then you can discuss what a 9-iron does, what a driver does, and what the game can do for them.”
The efforts of Kirby and others are making a difference. On Feb. 22, the President’s Cup announced a new event set to take place during the tournament’s media day on August 29, 2022.
The Charlie Sifford Centennial Cup will feature six of the country’s top men’s golf programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), competing in an exhibition match under Presidents Cup format and routing at host Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The final selection is the top four players from each program’s 2022-23 roster. They are then split into two teams of 12 with players, remaining intact with their college teammates.
Now that’s making a birdie and an impact on a younger generation and the game of golf.
You can bet on it.