Industry News

Rory McIlroy and NBC Sports Next help give back to golf with second $1 million donation to Youth on Course

NBC Sports Next’s Better Together initiative continues to create more access for underserved groups and diverse start-ups

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 6, 2022) – While thanking the generous community of golfers who have chosen to “round up” their purchases through NBC Sports Next's GolfNow tee-time service, Rory McIlroy on Wednesday presented a second check for $1 million to Youth on Course, helping the organization continue its mission to create more affordable and equal access to golf.

The check presentation represented the second $1 million donation facilitated by NBC Sports Next to YOC – the first taking place with the help of McIlroy in September 2021. Accepting the check was Youth on Course CEO Adam Heieck, who joined McIlroy to cheer on donors beginning their marathon round of golf at the Palm Beach Par 3 golf course in Florida, one of 10 “Premier 100 Hole Hike” fund-raising locations across the U.S. These annual charity events challenge participants to raise $10,000 or more to support YOC.

McIlroy also was on hand to host an instruction clinic, which included 16 local YOC members and host Martin Hall. The Rory Pop-Up Clinic from the event will be available to stream on GolfPass, beginning Monday, Oct. 17. McIlroy is co-founder of GolfPass.

The day’s activities also were being captured by Vox Media Studios, producers behind the highly anticipated Netflix documentary series that will follow the lives and stories of top professional golfers through an entire competitive season.

“We’re incredibly honored to have the support of NBC Sports Next and grateful to the millions of GolfNow users who have chosen to round up over the past two years,” Heieck said. “These contributions are helping to increase our impact and creating transformative change in the lives of our members.”

The $2 million total contribution marked another major milestone in the 21 months since NBC Sports Next and Youth on Course announced a major partnership with the goal of helping to ensure the vitality of golf for kids across the U.S. through the innovative technology of GolfNow and unmatched content provided by GolfPass. Through NBC Sports Next’s Better Together initiative, the donated funds resulted from generous GolfNow golfers who elected to help expand YOC’s national footprint when booking a round of golf.

A key element of the partnership includes the GolfNow “Round-Up” campaign, which offers anyone booking a tee time online via GolfNow or the GolfNow app to round up the total cost of the reservation to an even-dollar figure.

Since the “Round-Up” campaign began, there have been nearly 6 million contributions, raising the $2 million from an average contribution of $0.36. The contribution represents enough money to subsidize approximately 285,000 rounds of golf for YOC members.

“We’re extremely proud of our partnership with Youth on Course and doubly so of the millions of GolfNow golfers who have generously contributed to our efforts to create more access to our great sport,” said Jerramy Hainline, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Golf, NBC Sports Next. “This round-up campaign is a great example of the many supplemental ways we are innovating with our industry-leading technology.”

Other key elements of the NBC Sports Next-Youth on Course partnership have included:

  • A 2022 GolfPass sweepstakes providing the winner and guest the opportunity to win a trip to Indio, Calif., to participate in a 100 Hole Hike event, alongside celebrity instructors Devan Bonebrake and Nathalie Sheehan.
  • Development by GolfNow of a custom YOC booking engine, providing YOC members to book their rounds of golf through the YOC app.
  • Complimentary GolfPass video subscription for all YOC members, giving more than 130,000 young people access to hundreds of hours of high-quality instruction and entertainment programming on demand.
  • $80,000 in scholarship awards from GolfNow and GolfPass, which have been given to outstanding YOC members pursuing a college education.

About NBC Sports Next 
NBC Sports Next is a subdivision of NBC Sports and home to all NBCUniversal digital applications in sports and technology within its three groups: Youth & Recreational Sports, Golf, and Betting & Gaming. NBC Sports Next, known for its sports technology product innovation, equips more than 30MM players, coaches, athletes, sports administrators and fans in 40 countries with more than 25 sports solution products, including SportsEngine, a youth sports club, league and team management platform; TeamUnify, swim team management services; GoMotion, sports and fitness business software solutions; TourneyMachine, tournament management solutions for youth sports; GolfNow, the leading online tee time marketplace and provider of golf course operations technology and services; GolfPass the ultimate golf membership that connects golfers to exclusive content, tee time credits, coaching, tips and other benefits; and NBC Sports Edge, a leading platform for fantasy sports information and betting-focused tools. NBC Sports Next is fueled by its mission to innovate, create larger-than-life events and connect with sports fans through technology to provide the ultimate in immersive experiences.

About Youth on Course
The core purpose of Youth on Course is to help young people grow and succeed both on and off the course by providing opportunities to play, learn, grow, and build relationships through affordable, inclusive access to play. More than 130,000 members have access to play nearly 2,000 golf courses for $5 or less, benefit from career opportunities through the caddie and internship program and receive college scholarships. Headquartered in Monterey, California, Youth on Course is a 501(c)3 organization that began as the charitable arm of the Northern California Golf Association. Since 2006, more than two million subsidized rounds have been played by Youth on Course members and more than $2 million has been awarded in college scholarships. Across North America, Youth on Course serves all of the United States of America and parts of Canada.

-NBC Sports Next-

Dan Higgins
NBC Sports Next