|Minnesota Section PGA Foundation|
By Chris RochefordThe Minnesota Section PGA Foundation was founded in 1995 with the mission of carrying out two main functions; promotion of the game through player development programs and to provide financial assistance to worthy members of the Minnesota Section PGA Junior Golf Program as well as PGA member facilities to further their education. Since 1995, the Foundation Committee has awarded nearly $400,000 to worthy students. The Foundation is able to carry out this mission through four key pillars: youth, charity, military and diversity.
As part of our Foundation and its initiatives, the Minnesota Section PGA Foundation supports a variety of charitable causes and youth sports organizations in our community. These programs include but are not limited to:
Minnesota PGA Junior Golf Association: This youth program provides playing opportunities for the advanced, intermediate and beginning golfer, ages 8-19. These playing opportunities promote competition and camaraderie. The Minnesota PGA Junior Golf Association hosted over 180 events with 1,800 participants this summer over a 10-week span.
Drive, Chip and Putt: The Drive, Chip and Putt is a free, nationwide junior golf competition overseen by PGA of America, the USGA and August National aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf; driving, chipping and putting. This national competition is available to boys and girls ages 7-15. The Minnesota Section PGA hosted thirteen qualifiers within Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota with nearly 1,250 competitors.
PGA Junior League Golf: The newly established PGA Junior League is a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls, ages 13 and under, to learn and enjoy the game of golf from PGA and LPGA Professionals in a less competitive and pressure-filled environment. The PGA Junior League had a substantial increase from 50 teams this past year to 88 teams in 2016. Teams were scattered across Minnesota as well as North and South Dakota.
PGA Hope: PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is a program that utilizes golf as a rehabilitation tool to improve our veteran's quality of life by enhancing their mental, physical social and emotional well-being. The Minnesota Section PGA and its PGA Professionals in conjunction with the Minneapolis, Sioux Falls and Bismarck Veteran Affairs departments host a six-week adaptive golf program offered to Veterans at no charge in each of the three locations.
Community Events Outreach: The Minnesota Section PGA has a heavy influence in local communities on behalf of our PGA Professionals within Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. These events include clinics, parades and celebrations of many varieties-one of the many benefits offered by the Minnesota Section PGA.
Ian Leonard Bad Pants Open: The Ian Leonard Bad Pants Open presented by FOX9, Special Olympics Minnesota and the Minnesota Section PGA is celebrating its ten year anniversary this year on September 13th, 2016 at Medina Golf & Country Club. The day features a 9-hole PGA Member-Special Olympics Athlete Pro-Am in the morning followed by an 18-hole Charity event benefitting the Minnesota Section PGA Foundation and Special Olympics Minnesota.
In addition to these programs, the Minnesota Section PGA Foundation orchestrated and passed the new Minnesota Golf License Plate through legislation in 2015. The License Plate Program, coinciding with the values of the Foundation, aims to introduce and engage individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to the game of golf by providing instruction, education and playing opportunities throughout the State. All proceeds raised through the License Plate Program will support programs that encourage player development all over Minnesota to help grow the game. These programs include the Fairway Foundation, the First Tee programs of Minnesota, golf in schools programs, military programs to benefit our armed forces, and Special Olympics Minnesota.
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