The American Golf Industry Coalition’s 14th annual National Golf Day will be held May 10-11, with industry leaders hosting more than 250 virtual meetings with members of Congress to discuss the economic, societal, environmental and health benefits golf.

One of the sessions will focus on workplace inclusivity in sport around the “Make Golf Your Thing” initiative. The 90-minute forum on May 10 will be hosted by Golf Channel & NBC host and journalist, Damon Hack.

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“Make Golf Your Thing” was launched on National Golf Day 2021. Led by six cross-industry working groups, the initiative is specifically focused on education and skills development, talent acquisition, procurement, human resources, youth and adult player development and marketing/communications.

In recent years, National Golf Day has sometimes been about the fight to make golf more accessible, finding ways to get more players into the game, and fighting a wave of players leaving for reasons such as drinking. time and expense.

However, the industry has a lot to celebrate with an attendance boom that was sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when outdoor sports like golf flourished while other activities were shut down.

For example, according to industry sources such as the World Golf Foundation and the National Golf Foundation, there were a record 529 million rounds of golf played in the United States in 2021, or 5.5% more than in 2020.

An all-time high of 3.2 million people played golf for the first time in 2021 and the demographics were encouraging: beginners were 45% more likely to be non-Caucasian and 35% more likely to be female.

Facilities such as the Brentwood Golf Club on the Northside, with its First Tee affiliation, help bring minority youngsters such as Jacksonville's Mario Reaves into the game.  He gets a lesson in chipping from First Tee trainer Ryan Sauer.

In 2021, there were 5.2 million non-Caucasian golfers on the course, an increase of 8% over the past two years. African American, Asian and Hispanic golfers made up nearly 21% of all attendees on the course, the highest total since 2013

There were 6.2 million female golfers on the course in 2021, an increase of 11% over the past two years.

The industry plans to do more:

• Establish inclusion guidelines for golf course facilities across the United States and create a Make Golf Your Thing toolkit with resources for facility engagement.

• Conduct an employee survey measuring workplace inclusivity within the golf industry, with 35 participating organizations (over 2,300 participants).

• Launch a Grassroots Grants program to support groups dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented populations in golf with $300,000 in funding awarded to over 70 organizations to date, with additional funding of $750,000 which will be awarded this year.

• Created a golf industry-specific database of multi-ownership businesses, which to date includes more than 1,600 multi-owner suppliers.

• Initiation of a “Careers in Golf Development” program to provide opportunities in the sport to underrepresented communities.

• A soon-to-be-launched Make Golf Your Thing directory to make it easy for consumers to find the golf program, clinic, event or coach best suited to their skill level.

The American Golf Industry Coalition is a division of the World Golf Foundation, based in St. Augustine. To learn more, visit

Begay qualifiers take the next step

The North Florida Junior Foundation held three qualifiers alongside its regular events for the Notah Begay National Junior Golf Championship Nov. 3-9 at Koasati Pines Golf Course in Kinder, Louisiana.

Four-time PGA Tour winner Notah Begay is sponsoring a national junior golf championship in November.

Next up will be regionals in Central Florida, with girls playing Indian Springs Country Club June 27-28 and boys playing Mission Inn Resort June 29-30.

First Coast Playoffs:

Boys 10-11: Benjamin Strongosky, Sawyer Cook, Benjamin Hoag.

Boys 12-13: Jake Mason, Dawson Woolley, William Wiggins.

Boys 14-15: Ethan Tak, Ryan Nicholson, Luke Balaskiewicz, Max Cullen, Sean Grzebin, Jonathan Hoag, Ryder Robinson.

Boys 16-18: Alexander Lymus, Matthew French, Dylan Mason, Tanner Millar, Brock Buhnerkemper, Jackson Klauk, Noah Mayers, Cameron Reed, Colby Tedder, Adam Waller, Nolan Harper, Joshua Lay, Henry Robards, Teddy Sotsky, Matthew Webb.

Girls 10-11: Lily Wachter.

Girls 12-13: Amelia Santiago, Mila Hubert, Claire Bond, Sahana Chokshi.

Girls 14-15: Addy Vogt, Ryan Donaldson, Ashley Mikesell.

Girls 16-18: Alanis Santiago, Violet Robbins, Madison Balaskiewicz, Tory Barned, Emma Wells, Hannah Ashton, Avery Sabile, Veona Osborne.

Seniors, upcoming women’s events

The Jacksonville Area Golf Association Senior Championship will be held May 15-17 in Deercreek. It will be played for the 64th time, making it the oldest continuous tournament on the First Coast.

There are three divisions, Senior (50+, Super-Senior (60+) and Grand Senior (70+). Seniors will play 54 holes, Super Seniors and Grand Seniors 36 holes. 2021, respectively, were Larry Smith, Gary Blackwell and Frank Perry.

The deadline for registration is May 12.

The First Coast Women’s Amateur will take place June 22-23 at the King and Bear. Kaitlyn Schröder of Jacksonville, a runner-up in the recent USA Women’s Four-Ball, will defend her title.

There is competition in the Senior and Super-Senior divisions. The registration deadline is June 13.

Information on both tournaments can be obtained by visiting

Kim wins Open Qualifier

Nease graduate Auston Kim will play her second US Women’s Open after winning a 36-hole qualifier at Shannopin Country Club in Pittsburgh. She shot 4-under 138 to win by three strokes and qualify for the Open June 2-5 at Pine Needles. … San José Golf Professional Hayes Farley was weak pro and the Westside Golf Center team won the Straub Pro-Am pro-am at Amelia National. Farley had 48 points in the Stableford format, with Gerry James of Palencia then with 40. Rob Lee and amateurs Micah Arnold, Eric Lyon and Neal Frontzwon the team competition. … The Jacksonville Beach Golf Club will host a series of weekly summer camps for juniors ages 6-12 from June through early August. For more details, visit or call the Golf Shop at (904) 247-6184). … Jacksonville Beach will air May 17-18 and August 23-25. Green fees will be reduced by 25% from May 20-22 and August 26-28.