Once again, Steph Curry is putting his money where his mouth is, making a down payment on the future of many high-level junior golfers who are unable to easily access the highest echelon of competitive golf.
The three-time NBA champion announced an expansion of his Underrated brand to include not only basketball but also golf. The goal of the brand is to empower the overlooked and underrepresented, and golf is a great match for that ethos.
Golf is a difficult game to access for the recreational player, and it's even more costly for junior golfers looking to compete against their best peers. Entry fees and travel costs pile up, and many parents are simply unable to have the time off to go to events alongside their children to keep them company, potentially caddy for them and, most importantly, ensure their safety.
Underrated Golf will operate 'with the overarching commitment to provide equity, access and opportunity to student-athletes from every community by balancing participation in the sport to truly reflect our society."
The goal is to provide access to competitive golfers from diverse communities, which Curry hopes will drive participation numbers higher across a broader spectrum of society. Athletes who are selected to participate in Underrated Golf will be able to grow through the game. The organization will identify and recognize the best players at each of its regional events through the Underrated Golf Tour. In its first year, the 24 best boys and girls from these events will compete for the Curry Cup at the season-ending Underrated Tour Championship. The goal is to expand in subsequent years to a global footprint in search of game-changing talent.
Selected players will compete at no cost to them, including travel. Interested juniors aged 12-18 can register to be selected online by May 15 for consideration.
"Underrated Golf will provide equity, access and opportunity, recognizing the instrumental role the sport plays as one of the greatest vehicles and connectors for life successes," said Curry.
Central to its success, Underrated Golf will provide opportunities for golfers of all backgrounds -- male and female -- to compete on courses they otherwise couldn't access. The business will also prioritize workforce and skill development, showing participants the avenues to careers in sport, including golf, through a series of networking events, collaborative tools and forums.
"We are dedicated to enacting real change by creating lanes for boys and girls from underserved communities to gain access to the sport," said Will Lowery, Underrated Golf tour ambassador. He added, "We are focused on equal representation of all genders, while being a force multiplier for them to realize their potential and positively impact the sport—from skill on the course to competing in major tournaments and pursuing leadership roles across industries."
There are five stops on the Underrated Golf Tour:
- Chicago: Cog Hill Golf Club, June 21-23
- Phoenix: Wickenburg Ranch, June 29 - July 1
- Houston: Golf Club of Houston, July 17-19
- Tampa: Innnisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course, Aug. 8-10
- San Francisco: Tour Championship at TPC Harding Park, Aug. 28-30
Curry's latest investment in the underserved and underrepresented communities in the game follows after his 2019 commitment of a seven-figure sum to start up a varsity-level golf team at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Gregory Odom Jr., a senior standout on the Howard University men's golf team, recently accepted a sponsor exemption to compete in the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship in May.