The USGA has launched an emergency fund to help support its 59 Allied Golf Associations around the country.
The fund, which will be as high as $5 million, will dole out grants to these organizations to help "ensure business continuity and staffing levels" as these organizations, which make golf happen as a grassroots level, go through a difficult time. Individual Allied Golf Associations may apply for grants as high as $100,000, with additional financial assistance considered on a case-by-case basis. The application process will begin on April 13 and remain open through the summer as needed.
In the event the economic situation is more prolonged than currently estimated, the USGA has committed to additional funding support.
“These golf associations are the backbone of the recreational and competitive golf communities at the local, state and regional level,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “They play a vital role not only in delivering the USGA’s core services, but also in engaging millions of golfers across the country at the local level. This support will help enable the game to make a strong return once it’s safe to do so.”
The USGA most recently provided direct financial assistance to AGAs in support of Hurricane Maria relief in 2017.
The Allied Golf Associations are located throughout the country, and they all operate a nonprofits, conducting competitive and instructive events, advocating for the game at a local level, providing affordable playing opportunities and educating golf pros, officials and players. The AGAs conduct the 600-plus qualifiers for the USGA's 14 open and amateur championships, as well provide handicapping services.
Many, if not most, of these associations have cancelled events, competitions, seminars and more in the current environment, depriving themselves of budget-sustaining revenue in the name of best public health practices.