The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Foundation announced today the first five recipients of the Renee Powell Grant. The grant program honors Renee Powell’s lifelong commitment to golf and will help assist current and prospective LPGA*USGA Girls Golf sites create partnerships and outreach opportunities with youth organizations serving Black girls.
An initial $25,000 in grant funding will be awarded to select LPGA*USGA Girls Golf programs actively operating in Ohio, Renee Powell’s home state. Sites were selected based on their geographic location, current LPGA*USGA Girls Golf membership demographics, and longstanding commitment to engaging Black girls in their program.
These five sites that will receive $5,000 in grant funding are:
- LPGA*USGA Girls Golf at The First Tee of Central Ohio
- LPGA*USGA Girls Golf at The First Tee of Lake Erie (Inverness & Brandywine)
- LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of East Canton, OH
- LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Greater Cleveland
- LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Northwood Golf Academy
“I think this grant program might help to bring young girls, African American girls and other minorities into the game of golf and to show them that there are people who played before them and that it’s a great sport,” said Renee Powell, the second African American woman to ever play on the LPGA Tour. “We need to really do a little more to change the culture of what golf is all about, in particular growing our Girls Golf programs and being very inclusive.”
The LPGA Tour returns to play on July 31 at the Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio, the first event back in more than six months. While the season was put on hold, LPGA Tour players continued their energy and commitment to make a difference, including the mission to bring more Black girls into the game and honor Renee’s lifelong leadership in changing the face of golf.
“To us, [Drive On] means our personal and our organizational commitment to leave this game even better than we found it, to make golf even more enjoyable and inviting to all people in the future,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “That’s why we hope you’ll join us at the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program that is quite literally changing the face of the game and inviting more girls into this game than ever in the history of golf.”
Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA, added, “The USGA is honored to support this important effort to increase opportunities for girls from diverse backgrounds to have access to the game as part of our long-standing commitment to LPGA*USGA Girls Golf. The incredible work that the program does to break down barriers to participation is having a lasting impact on golf. It is fitting that Renee’s legacy as a fierce competitor and, more importantly, a champion for inclusion will live on forever through this grant.”
Thanks to the support of the golf industry’s recent Race Fore Unity efforts, The LPGA Foundation raised $50,000 toward the newly established Renee Powell Grant which will support LPGA*USGA Girls Golf programs that serve Black communities. Awarded through The LPGA Foundation and the LPGA Renee Powell Fund, grants will provide access, instruction, equipment and additional expenses required to be introduced to the game of golf and stay engaged with the sport. Through this effort, The LPGA Foundation will further 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.
“The ability to raise money for this new grant that LPGA*USGA Girls Golf is coming up with is so important,” said Cheyenne Woods, an LPGA*USGA Girls Golf alumna who is in the field this week. “Just to give all girls access to the sport that I know has given me so many opportunities, so many life lessons, and just increase diversity in the game. This new grant will help get Black girls into golf and truly give them equal opportunity to enjoy it and play consistently and truly build their love for the game like we all have.”
Renee Powell Grant funds will be directed towards financial aid for Girls Golf members community outreach, partnerships with local youth groups, securing golf course access, transportation to/from the golf course or facility, to increase staffing, and purchase of equipment. Along with the grant funding, LPGA will provide access to the LPGA’s cultural sensitivity training, assistance with connecting the Site Director with a local youth organization serving Black girls, branded items and giveaways for the Girls Golf Experience, lesson plans for the program, and at least one LPGA HQ representative to assist with Girls Golf Experience event planning.
Run in partnership by The LPGA Foundation and the United States Golf Association (USGA), LPGA*USGA Girls Golf is the only national program of its kind that specializes in providing a girl-friendly environment for juniors to play the game of golf. Girls Golf sites provide girls with quality golf instruction led by LPGA and PGA teaching professionals, teaching them valuable life skills along the way. In addition to empowering and inspiring girls, LPGA*USGA Girls Golf is on a continued mission to “Change the Face of the Game.”
“We’re extremely thankful for the opportunities the Renee Powell Grant will give us in Northwest Ohio,” said Amanda Liford, Site Director of LPGA*USGA Girls Golf at The First Tee of Lake Erie located at Inverness Club, the host of this week’s Drive On Championship. “Every day, our world becomes more diverse and it’s important to react in a way that is inclusive, respectful, and accepting. Golf has the ability to help girls expand their horizons and give them opportunities that they would not have otherwise. The LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program does an amazing job at providing a place where girls can come together, make friends, have fun, and learn golf along the way. With the Renee Powell Grant, our sites can provide more girls access to the game and the values that the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Program has to offer, adding more classes throughout the year, expanding our partnership with Girl Scouts, and starting programs for girls at the Boys & Girls Club of Toledo.
“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to empower ALL girls in Northwest Ohio that they can do anything!”
To make a contribution towards the Renee Powell Grant, please visit www.girlsgolf.org/give.