Although its title suggests the SCPGA is devoted solely to those who earn money through golf, the name doesn’t reveal what goes on beneath the surface.
From left: SCPGA officials Tom Addis, Jeff Johnson, Gerald Wong, Jason Taylor, Scott Stubbs and Nikki Gatch (PHOTO: Eddie Meeks).
“It is a top priority to service our PGA members, but our primary focus is growing the game for everyone,” said Nikki Gatch, assistant executive director and director of the SCPGA Foundation, which administers its junior golf and charitable endeavors. “Getting people involved in the game is our focus, especially in the kind of economic times we’re in.”
The 1,800-person SCPGA is affiliated with the 28,000-member PGA of America. A lot of the SCPGA’s work involves assisting its professional members with everything from scheduling golf tournaments to furthering their golf education.
The SCPGA also manages the Southern California Junior Golf Tour to help grow the game. And this fall, the SCPGA will take part in the USGA/PGA After School Golf Program, which brings the game to school grounds.
Two other programs the SCPGA is involved with are Neighborhood Golf and Play Golf America.
Neighborhood Golf sets up shop anywhere from parking lots to empty athletic fields to “introduce, or reintroduce” people to golf, Gatch said.
“There’s no charge to attend, the whole family can participate and the focus is to make it fun, so maybe it will serve as a bridge back to our PGA professionals and their facilities,” she said.
Play Golf America days are free events designed to give golfers of all abilities a chance to play, practice and check out new equipment at participating courses.
Gatch estimates that the SCPGA Foundation will award $100,000 to junior golfers who need financial assistance, and to several youth sports-related charities, including First Tee and Special Olympics.
For more information, visit scpga.com.
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