Industry News

Open: Make Golf Your Thing’s Grassroots Grants Program now accepting applications

Program works to invite and increase golf participation among those who are underrepresented in the sport

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - Make Golf Your Thing, the collaborative industry movement working to accelerate golf’s evolution by making it more inclusive, is now accepting applications for its Grassroots Grants Program (GGP). The program works to support charitable organizations that are dedicated to increasing golf participation among historically underrepresented communities within the industry such as: Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, women, members of the LBGTQ+ community, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

2016 Stock Shoot - Palos Verdes
Shani Waite celebrates along with her playing partner Ashley Kim, right, after she made her putt at Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Chris Keane)

“Words cannot express how grateful we are to the Make Golf Your Thing Grassroots Grants Program,” said Azucena Maldonado, Founder, Latina Golfers Association. “We are able to parlay the funds we receive into impactful programs that touch the lives of Latina youth for whom golf, up to now, had been an unattainable sport. Our girls come from economically challenged communities not traditionally served by the game and yet they embrace the sport and relish the opportunities and life-skills golf offers them to enhance their lives. Watching these young Latinas blossom through the game of golf is moving, and we should all be proud of the role Make Golf Your Thing plays in paving the way in developing successful and productive citizens.”

Established in May 2021 through the American Golf Industry Coalition, Make Golf Your Thing has awarded $1.8 million to more than 200 organizations through its four phases of funding. This month marks the official start of the application window for Phase V, inviting charitable organizations to apply between now and Monday, March 4, 2024. A total of $700,000 is available for support.


“The grants have enabled us to share within our communities the strength of the game and the numerous employment possibilities the industry offers,” said Craig Kirby, Founder & CEO, Golf., My Future. My Game. “We have been able to continue the inaugural Caddie program we started at the historic Langston Golf Course in Washington, D.C. This program has witnessed many underrepresented youth become caddies and one female caddie is now a Western Golf Association Evans Scholar finalist, and a step away from a full- four year academic college scholarship. The Make Golf Your Thing investment empowers our growth and provides our team with the necessary resources to reach and touch many, while creating feelings of inclusion to the game of golf.”


While golf is a game built on strong traditions, the Make Golf Your Thing movement seeks to evolve the sport, diversify those involved, and celebrate the unique connections it fosters between people, communities, and organizations. From paving the way for adaptive golfers to breaking down barriers for transgender youth athletes, Make Golf Your Thing’s grants program is a critical tenant to the initiative.

  • Mike Molloy, Program Director of The Middle Atlantic Blind Golf Association Junior Golf Program, started out with the program as just a parent taking his son to play golf. The organization has now grown to help countless blind or visually impaired youth play the sport and make connections through the game. “We’ve sent kids to Ivy League schools, we have kids who just competed in the Paralympics, we have kids working at Google,” Molloy shared. “Seeing their successes really makes this all worthwhile.”
  • Sistas on the Links aims to empower women of all ages and skill levels to get out on the course. With more than 110 women in the Bay Area teeing it up on a regular basis, the program has built a community for participants to confidently hone their skills. “We want to continue to nurture women, build them up, help them feel comfortable and know that they belong on the golf course,” President and Founder Janet Johnson said. “It’s a real joy to see the light bulb go on.”
  • Matt McDonell founded Next 18 after recognizing the tremendous impact the game of golf has on helping veterans heal from physical and mental wounds. The development of the non-profit was inspired by McDonell’s own experiences with assimilation and recovery from prescription medication addiction. The program hosts free-of-charge camps for veterans with disabilities and first responders to provide a slate of resources focused on mental health, connection, and the game of golf. The grant received by Next 18 provided funding to cover greens fees for two camps along with the instruction by local PGA professionals.

Golf has long been known to bring people together and Make Golf Your Thing strives to make that mission come to life. Organizations and individuals can learn more about grant eligibility at Funding determinations will be sent to applicants in April. To learn more or get involved in Make Golf Your Thing, visit

About Make Golf Your Thing
Make Golf Your Thing is a collaborative movement that reflects the industry’s commitment to making the sport more diverse, equitable and inclusive by welcoming more people to golf from all backgrounds, identities and abilities to play the game, build a career, and do business in the industry. Since 2020, the following organizations and companies have financially supported the Make Golf Your Thing movement:

OrganizationsGolf Companies/Brands








National Club Association

National Golf Foundation



PGA of America


U.S. Golf Manufacturer’s Council



Arcis Golf

Blue One Resort

Bridgestone Golf

CAA Sports

Century Golf

Club Car


Golf Pride



John Deere Golf

Marriott Golf


PGA Golf Exhibitions



Rain Bird

Srixon | Cleveland Golf | XXIO



Topgolf Callaway Brands

U.S. Kids Golf

Wadsworth Golf Charities

Western Golf Association

Yamaha Golf

Youth on Course

CONTACT: Morgan Comer, American Golf Industry Coalition,