Today, Comcast NBCUniversal and PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, announced a multiyear collaboration to promote diversity and foster inclusion within golf through PGA WORKS. With financial and programmatic support from Comcast NBCUniversal, PGA WORKS will enhance key initiatives – including the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship and PGA WORKS Career Expo – to expand access and create opportunities for diverse student-athletes across the country.
Beginning in 2021, the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship will include enhanced television coverage on GOLF Channel and a plan to route the event to iconic courses around the country, starting with the PGA TOUR’s donation of TPC Sawgrass as this year’s host venue. These program improvements will expose participating student-athletes to historic championship venues in strategically significant markets, enabling the Championship, its programming, and participants to simultaneously thrive.
“We’ve sought to align with forward-leaning organizations that share our vision for a more diverse game and workforce,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “Partnering with our friends from Comcast NBCUniversal and the PGA TOUR to elevate the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship is a historic moment. We all clearly recognize that student-athletes from these participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) are an important and growing part of the next generation of leaders and agents of change and growth within the game. I hope that, in the coming years, golf looks a lot more like the world, so that the world can behave a bit more like the values and beauty within our game.”
The PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship dates back to 1986, when the National Negro Golf Association (NNGA) founded the National Minority College Golf Championship to provide student-athletes at HBCUs with the opportunity to compete in a national post-season championship. In 1998, with the support of the PGA of America, the event was moved to PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Championship was realigned within PGA REACH under the PGA WORKS umbrella in 2019.
Today, the three-day championship, hosted in partnership with several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the nation, highlights the best diverse student-athletes both on and off the golf course.
“Comcast NBCUniversal is proud to support over 30 HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions through our redoubled partnership with PGA WORKS,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast NBCUniversal. “This collaboration is a great example of how we’re utilizing our resources and platforms to expand access to, and create new opportunities for, under-represented and under-resourced groups. PGA WORKS is a fantastic program and we’re excited our support will help enable and empower racially and ethnically diverse-student athletes.”
Courtesy of the PGA TOUR, the world-renowned TPC Sawgrass will be this year’s host venue for the 2021 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, hosted May 1st through 5th. Additionally, the annual PGA WORKS Career Expo will be hosted by the PGA TOUR on May 2. The career expo provides an opportunity for participating student-athletes to learn about and have premiere access to various internships and employment opportunities in the golf industry while networking with industry-leading golf companies and executives.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to host the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship and the event’s career expo at TPC Sawgrass,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Our industry partners have all made a commitment to diversity and inclusion within our game, and when I received the call from Seth about TPC Sawgrass hosting the event, it was a very easy conversation. Having seen it first-hand, TPC Sawgrass General Manager and former President of the PGA of America Derek Sprague is very familiar with the indelible impact the event has made over the years, and we’re excited to partner with PGA REACH and Comcast NBCUniversal in taking it to greater heights in 2021 and beyond.”
The multi-year effort will also significantly expand and enhance the coverage and storytelling on GOLF Channel leading up to and during the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship. The increased coverage will amplify the voices and contextualize the stories of the diverse group of student-athletes.
Comcast NBCUniversal’s contribution to PGA WORKS and several of its key initiatives is part of the company’s multi-year $100 million commitment to help address systemic racism and inequality.