FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY (February 13, 2018) — In order to grow the game of golf among women, people of color and the disabled, more access to training, education and program support is needed. To reach this goal, the African American Golfer’s Digest, the nation’s leading publication for avid Black American golfers, has launched an unprecedented online petition at Change.org to establish a fund that will allow multiple organizations to access monetary support for increasing diversity and inclusion in the game of golf.
The petition calls for a fund generated by adding a surcharge of 10% to ticket sales at all PGA, PGA TOUR, LPGA, USGA and Augusta National Tournaments. Overseeing the petition effort is James R. Beatty, Executive Editor at the African American Golfer’s Digest. Beatty has over a half-a-decade of service with the publication and is Founder of NCS International, an Omaha, Nebraska-based company that provides corporate site selection and an array of economic development services. In 2017, he was appointed to the Golf 20/20 Diversity Task Force by World Golf Foundation President, Steve Mona and was involved in the Communications and Supplier Diversity subcommittees. He now serves on the Supplier Diversity and Competitive Play Subcommittees and is Chair of the Recreational Play Subcommittee.
Entities eligible for accessing these funds would range from legacy-based community organizations to the Advocates Professional Golf Tour, the PGA, LPGA and the USGA. Beatty estimates that at least $4 Million annually could be generated!
In a funding quest that has never before been attempted with golf’s major tournaments, Beatty hopes to gain thousands of signatures on the petition. His plea for public support opens with a blog quote posted by award-winning author Pete McDaniel that cites the golf industry as “An industry consistently promising to mirror America in diversity but just as consistently falling short of that promise.”
Petitioning a resolution for change, “This Diversity and Inclusion movement started in a meaningful way— from my point of view—in 1961, when the PGA of America removed its Caucasian-only clause. It happened again in a personal way when, in 1990, I met Louis J. Willie, a black businessman in Birmingham, Alabama. He became an honorary member of the Shoal Creek Country Club near Birmingham, Alabama. The first Black person to hold any type of membership in the club.”
Adding to his point, Beatty notes that PGA TOUR has at least 20 measurements and rankings for each and every player on its tour, however, the golf industry has not measured or ranked itself in the categories needed to reflect its commitment to diversity. And, according to the April 4, 2015 article in Forbes magazine, “The State of the Golf Industry in 2015”, the golf industry’s economic impact is $70 Billion per year.
“So pardon my frustration when these and other questions about golf can’t be answered in straight simple terms. Now that I have advanced in years, I am less and less patient and don’t feel a need to be satisfied with statements posing as answers like “We are working on it”
The petition garnered over 55 signatures when it was launched on January 24, 2018 at the Diversity Roundtable Forum convened by the Golf 20/20 Diversity Initiative Task Force at the 65th PGA Merchandise Show, the industry’s annual “MAJOR of Golf Business,” in Orlando, Fla., that welcomed nearly 40,000 golf industry professionals from all 50 U.S. states and 87 countries.
The drive hopes to capture the sentiments and signatures of the public regarding the establishment of a “Grow The Game” fund that fosters and hastens diversity and inclusion in the golf industry. If established, the fund could be accessed in a proper and systematic way by any and all legitimate entities that seek to address the issue of having more women and people of color represented in all aspects of the golf industry including recreational and competitive play, supplier diversity and workforce.
“Establishing such a fund would signal to the world that golf is serious about its diversity and inclusion efforts and in my opinion, would also send a loud message to non-golfers worldwide: Come on in, We want you, We value you,” claims Beatty who hopes that thousands will respond enthusiastically.
“Funding is imperative for the success and growth of golf program initiatives that support women, people of color and the disabled. The Grow The Game Fund will serve this monetary need,” says Publisher Debert Cook whose national magazine will have been publishing for 15-years next month.
Interested persons are asked to read the Resolution and sign up and to share the initiative on their social media pages to show their support for this effort. The results will be presented to golf’s governing bodies in a determination to move each of them to support the initiative and take the Diversity and Inclusion effort to a higher level.
To view more details of the petition and how proposed funds would be used please visit http://www.africanamericangolfersdigest.com/petitioning-a-resolution-for-change.