The Delaware State University women’s golf team, seen here celebrating an April win at the Navy Spring Invitational, recently received a $100,000 donation from the PGA Tour. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DSU
DOVER – When the Delaware State University women’s golf team received $100,000 from the PGA Tour, coach Rick McCall Jr. immediately started to think about how the gift could help the community.
“First and foremost, I am going to give back and teach the players the power of giving back,” he said Wednesday.
The PGA Tour donated a total of $500,000 to five historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), part of what tour commissioner Jay Monahan promised would be “deeper and more specific commitments around social justice,” the Golf Channel reported.
Another commitment is PGA Works, an initiative to diversify the golf industry’s workforce.
The Delaware State team’s final event this season is the 2021 PGA Works Collegiate Championship, which runs May 3-5 in Florida. The 10 players “are winning tournaments as a team and in individual brackets,” McCall said of the group that won the Navy Spring Invitational in April, a high-point of the season.
McCall hasn’t made any commitments for the donation, but has identified some groups worthy of monetary and volunteer support.
One is First Tee of Delaware, the state’s chapter of a national group that he said “introduces golf to young boys and girls who would not otherwise have the chance.” He anticipates donating equipment designed to allow children as young as 4 to enjoy golf indoors in a “fun and exciting way.”
He hopes that team members can volunteer to coach children, too, starting in Kent County.
“We plan to spearhead the growth of junior golf by partnering with the First Tee during our season, and I will personally continue our work as the seasons wrap up,” McCall said.
Another is Buckets of Love, which Reagan and Payton Garnsey of Dover founded to spread joy to children receiving medical care. McCall knows the sisters from the Buckets of Love golf outing fundraiser.
The Little School in Dover is a third.
Down on the list is the team itself, which could use some of the funds for expenses and scholarships, he said.
McCall hopes that he can instill in more young people the same love of golf that his father instilled in him. His father was a golf pro at Mapledale Country Club for 40 years and a men’s golf coach at Wesley College for 20. For 16 years, McCall was the golf pro at Wild Quail Golf and Country Club, where the Delaware State team practices. He’s been coaching at Delaware State since 2019 and is signed on through the 2022 season.
“We are giving back … to realize our positive impact and potential for good in our local community,” he said.