Funding is given to LPGA * USGA Girls Golf sites to develop the game and increase opportunities for black girls
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., July 6, 2021 – The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Foundation today announced the next recipients of the Renee Powell Grant. The scholarship program recognizes Renee Powell’s lifelong commitment to golf and will help current and future LPGA * USGA Girls Golf sites partner and connect with youth organizations that serve black girls.
The sites were selected based on their geographic location, the current LPGA * USGA Girls Golf membership demographics, and their longstanding commitment to including black girls in their program.
The five locations that will receive $ 5,000 in grants are:
- LPGA * USGA Girls Golf – First Tee – Louisville
- LPGA * USGA Girls Golf – First Tee – North Florida
- LPGA * USGA Girls’ Golf – Fort Worth / Dallas West
- LPGA * USGA Girls Golf – Atlanta – John A. White Golf Course
- LPGA * USGA Girls Golf – First Tee – Wilmington
“I’ve been a lonely ranger for a long time,” said Renee Powell, the second African American to ever play on the LPGA Tour. “To see young girls now who love the game and look like me, who have great ambitions to keep playing and eventually play on the LPGA Tour, is wonderful to see. You are so positive which is good. They have goals and they compete. I’ve never seen so many young colored girls play the game and love the game, so it makes me feel really good. “
Awarded by the LPGA Foundation and the LPGA Renee Powell Fund, the grants provide access, tuition, equipment, and additional expenses necessary to become introduced to the game of golf and keep in touch with the sport. Through these efforts, the LPGA Foundation continues its commitment to creating an engaging, safe, inclusive and diverse environment to empower, inspire and transform the lives of all women and girls through the game of golf.
At the Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit on June 28 at the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, Georgia, a sixth Renee Powell Grant was awarded to Black Girls Golf, a global network of like-minded women who want to learn, practice, and play golf. Toby Bolton, Site Director for LPGA * USGA Girls Golf – Atlanta – John A. White Golf Course, was also on site and attended a check presentation with Renee Powell.
“What a blessing the Renee Powell Grant will be to the young girls of southwest and northwest Atlanta,” said Bolton. “After 14 months in which the strict Covid protocol was unable to raise funds and run programs in Fulton County, the scholarship becomes a helping hand for the LPGA * USGA Girls Golf Chapter on the John A. White Golf Course in recruiting, buying junior equipment and offering discounted or free memberships for classes – something that would have been limited without the support of the scholarship. “
LPGA * USGA Girls Golf Alumna Mariah Stackhouse, a native of Atlanta and a long-time partner of the Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit, spoke about the impact of the Renee Powell Grants on the growth of the game.
“I think one of the best ways to expand the game of golf and include young girls is by creating opportunities for camaraderie and friendship as you learn this game, and that is exactly what the LPGA * USGA Girls Golf program gave me,” said Mariah Stackhouse, an alumna of Girls Golf, “It was a place to be with a lot of other girls who are enjoying the game too, but building those friendships and making it exciting to keep appearing on the golf course. It’s about introducing yourself to coaching, but above all about camaraderie and the love of play. That’s what children need in order to be passionate about it. “
Thanks to efforts including the golf industry’s Race Fore Unity and overwhelming support for the LPGA’s #HoodieForGolf, Renee Powell Grants continue to impact LPGA * USGA Girls Golf programs that serve black communities. This year’s scholarships are also made possible with support from John Deere and help provide equitable and inclusive opportunities for women and young women. In addition to the grants, John Deere will sponsor a behind-the-scenes experience at the 2021 Solheim Cup for the first five Renee Powell grant recipients from Powell’s home state of Ohio.
“Renee Powell paved the way for black women around the world not only to think differently about the game of golf, but also to dream big,” said Mara Downing, vice president of corporate communications & brand at John Deere. “Renee’s influential legacy of challenging the status quo inspires other women to embrace new opportunities and diversify the playing field. This scholarship is just one way you can move life forward – a goal we pursue every day at John Deere. “
The Renee Powell Grant funds are used to provide financial aid to the Girls Golf community, partnering with local youth groups, securing golf course access, transportation to / from the golf course or the facility, adding staff and purchasing Equipment. Along with the grant funding, the LPGA will provide access to the LPGA’s cultural awareness training, help connect the site director with a local black girl youth organization, along with branded merchandise and freebies for the Girls Golf Experience, lesson plans for the program, and at least one representative of the LPGA HQ, which helps with the event planning of the Girls Golf Experience.
LPGA * USGA Girls Golf, operated in partnership by the LPGA Foundation and the United States Golf Association (USGA), is the only national program of its kind that specializes in providing juniors with a girl-friendly environment to play golf. Girls Golf Sites provide quality golf tuition for girls, led by LPGA and PGA instructors, teaching them valuable life skills. LPGA * USGA Girls Golf not only pursues the opportunity to empower and inspire girls, but also pursues the mission of “changing the face of golf”.
“[Renee Powell’s] The story is really remarkable, ”said Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the new LPGA commissioner. “She’s such a pioneer. She changed the sport of golf and continues to change the sport of golf through her foundation. She works every day to create opportunities. The LPGA wants to do the same. We’d like to introduce the game to people who might not otherwise have the opportunity. And we want to change their lives through the game. “
“It is critical that golf continues to break down barriers to participation and be a game that is accessible and welcome to diverse communities, especially at the junior level,” said Mike Whan, CEO of USGA. “The Renee Powell Grant has proven itself to be a powerful force in its sophomore year, and the USGA is proud to be behind it.”
To contribute to the Renee Powell Grant, please visit www.girlsgolf.org/give.