PGA TOUR Professional Collin Morikawa to Serve as Honorary Chair
LOS ANGELES – The Southern California Golf Association (SCGA), in collaboration with the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the 2023 U.S. Open host site, The Los Angeles Country Club (LACC), today announced the launch of a campaign that will create a community legacy for underserved and underrepresented youth. The FORE Youth: 2023 U.S. Open Community Legacy Campaign will provide more opportunities for youth in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California to participate in the game and thrive on and beyond the course.
Embracing the enthusiasm surrounding the U.S. Open returning to Los Angeles for the first time in 75 years, the campaign aims to raise funds to support developing youth on, and beyond, the course through the SCGA’s Junior Golf Foundation and to work with Los Angeles County to restore and further develop Maggie Hathaway GolfCourse, in partnership with the Western States Golf Association (WSGA). The campaign will remain active beyond the June championship through the end of the year.
Born and raised in the Los Angeles community of La Cañada, PGA Tour Professional Collin Morikawa will serve as the campaign’s honorary chair. Morikawa, a former SCGA member and USA team member of the 2017 Walker Cup at LACC, seeksto increase access to youth programs resulting in a long-lasting impact on his hometown region.
“This campaign takes me back to how I got started,” Morikawashared. “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t play junior golf. This is an opportunity to give kids a chance to fall in love with the game and all the lessons that it teaches. It means so much to me to be able to give back to this community for years and years to come.”
A priority of the campaign is not only developing resources to expand youth programming and services at MaggieHathaway Golf Course but to also make significant investment in its infrastructure and design. First opened in 1962, the Los Angeles County-owned facility was renamed Maggie Hathaway in 1997 in honor of the activist, blues singer, actress and golfer who helped end the discriminatory practice of segregation at County golf courses. Supporting the enhancement of the facility’s long-standing role in the South Los Angeles community, renowned golf course architect, Gil Hanse, has agreed to lead the restoration of Maggie Hathaway GC, which will require a $15 million investment and collaboration with
L.A. County to approve the project and secure all necessary permits.
“I applaud the Southern California Golf Association, the USGA and The Los Angeles Country Club for teaming up to harness the excitement around this year’s U.S. Open into a lasting legacy that will benefit the residents of my district and young people across L.A. County,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “I am proud to represent the community surrounding the Maggie Hathaway Golf Course, a County public asset with a deep history in South L.A. The ongoing effort by the SCGA, USGA and LACC to raise funds for the course’s restoration and to expand SCGA and WSGA’s youth golf programs, will have a direct impact on the lives of young people who have historically had inequitable access to the sport of golf.”
“Our ongoing partnership with SCGA continues to elevate both organizations while creating more opportunities for kids. This project will do even more as Maggie Hathaway Golf Course is a county gem that, when reinvigorated, will serve the community much better and in more ways,” stated WSGA Vice President Glen Porter. The WSGA was founded in 1954 to help minorities gain access to the game. It has nine clubs in Southern California, and these clubs have a nonprofit, Southern Area Youth Programs, Inc., that operates the Maggie Hathaway Golf Course, as well as junior programming at the facility.
The USGA, LACC, Philanthropist Steve Ballmer and the Kroenke Family Foundation have all provided $1 million lead donations to rejuvenate Maggie Hathaway Golf Course as part of a broad commitment to directly impact the region that is hosting the national championship. The funds have been designated to drive greater access and opportunity for underrepresented youth in the community and to break down barriers to participation at the grassroots level. It is one of four areas in which the USGA will invest its resources in Southern California this year as part of the U.S. Open.
“This is a substantive investment in a diverse golf community that has all the right tools to drive inclusion – and requires everyone to play a role,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “We’re putting our dollars where we know they will make an impact, so that golf remains affordable, accessible and welcoming for this generation, and all those to follow.”
The SCGA has committed a $500,000 gift and will match dollar-for-dollar (up to an additional $500,000) all donations starting today.
As a result of this campaign, the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation will continue to hire and develop more coaches, who will provide impactful programs with demonstrated outcomes across Southern California. The campaign will drive further program expansion, giving more kids the space to develop critical social, emotional and cognitive-behavioral skills that foster benefits across a broad range of health and academic outcomes.
Click here to hear how junior golf impacted Honorary Campaign Chair Collin Morikawa.
The golf community and all Southern Californians are asked to join in to support the future of our youth and the game. Visit foreyouth.org for more information.
For further information: Ashley Noda, SCGA Communications & Marketing, email@example.com.