Dozens of the nation’s top African-American golfers traveled to Chicago to play in one of the Advocates Professional Golf Association Tour’s premier events held at Harborside International Golf Course, 11001 S. Doty Ave., on June 24-25.
The Advocates Professional Golf Association strives to develop the careers of African Americans and other minorities in the game of golf through professional tournaments, mentoring, and career fairs as a means to increase diversity. APGA hosts professional golf events in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Los Angeles, and more.
Ken Bentley, APGA president and executive director, said the organization began eight years ago under the original premise that a group of African American men would come together twice a year to play golf, discuss ideas, and raise money for community organizations. He said he received the initial funds to help produce the first three tournament sites in Tampa, Atlanta, and Los Angeles from Nestle (while he was employed by the company).
By 2013, a breakthrough occurred. The PGA Tour took notice of the APGA’s growth and offered a five-year grant to make additions. Additionally, he said the Tour received a significant amount of support from African American donors.
“We were the first minority organization to get support from the PGA Tour,” said Bentley. “They recognized what we were doing and looked at our organization as a way to bring diversity to golf.”
AGPA prize money increased by 300 percent, event participation doubled, the number of events per year doubled, and the creation of the Adrian Stills Bonus Pool, which allows players to earn extra money while playing on the Tour, all occurred within the last five years, according to Bentley.
The APGA Tour impacts players both on the course as well as with their own personal development.
Read more by Lee Edwards, at ChicagoDefender.com
About Advocates Professional Golf Association
The Advocates Professional Golf Association strives to develop the careers of African Americans and other minorities in the game of golf through professional tournaments, mentoring, and career fairs as a means to increase diversity.