United Airlines, PGA Tour Donate Air Travel Credits to HBCU Golf Teams

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Chandler Parker, Kobe Wilson, and Jacob Byrd of the Winston Salem State University golf
Chandler Parker, Kobe Wilson, and Jacob Byrd of the Winston Salem State University golf team pose with United Airlines vouchers. (PGA Tour SG)

As part of their “commitment” to Historically Black Colleges and Universities following the summer riots of 2020, the PGA Tour convinced United Airlines to award more than 50 HBCU golf teams with air travel vouchers, worth more than half a million dollars.

Divided equally among the schools, to fund travel for golf tournaments and recruiting efforts, the donation is part of United Airlines and the PGA Tour’s “shared commitment” to diversify (less white) the sport and provide resources that allow HBCUs to recruit and compete at the highest levels of collegiate golf.

Each school will receive $10,000 in credit for air travel, enabling more than 250 student-athletes, coaches and their equipment to fly United to compete in high-profile tournaments that were previously out of reach. HBCU golf coaches attribute the lack of access to air travel among the greatest barriers to developing successful golf programs.

“Removing barriers for HBCU students to have the same opportunities given to other collegiate athletes will open doors for countless young Black golfers to achieve their dreams and for HBCU golf programs to develop to their full potential,” said United President Brett Hart.

“United is committed to advancing inclusion and racial equity and that begins with making meaningful mentorship and scholarship investments in the communities we serve.”

These grants will allow each team the opportunity to attend more tournaments this season, including events like the prestigious PGA Works Collegiate Championship, Mardi Gras Golf Invitational and Black College Golf Coaches Association Houston National Invitational. Previously, many HBCU golf teams would not have the resources to compete at these events or would have to drive, which requires student-athletes to take multiple days away from school.

For the student-athletes, the opportunity to compete in more tournaments isn’t just about improving their game – the relationships they build off the course with mentors and golf and industry professionals can make a difference in their ability to pursue the sport as a career.

“We are super grateful and excited to have the support of United Airlines to make for excellent and safe travel to our tournaments,” said Christyn Carr, a golfer at North Carolina A&T State University. “It gives us the freedom to compete in different states that we have not been able to go to before, and it allows us to have more time on the course than on the road. I’m looking forward to reaching new heights this semester, not only in our game but in our travel.”

United is the “Official Airline of the PGA Tour,” and the organization’s first sponsor to support the tour’s larger HBCU Grant Program.

“On behalf of the PGA Tour, I’d like to express my appreciation to longtime partner United Airlines for their support of HBCU golf programs and the many collegiate golfers who will benefit going forward,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan.

“We have made a pledge to help diversify the landscape of competitive golf and this collaboration between United Airlines and these colleges and universities will be a significant step towards leveling the playing field and enhancing the student-athlete experience along the way.”

United’s travel grants through the PGA Tour’s HBCU Grant Program will serve 51 current golf programs offered at HBCUs, including:

MEN’S GOLF

Alabama A&M University
Alabama State University
Bishop State Community College
Bluefield State College
Chicago State University
Elizabeth City State University
Fayetteville State University
Fisk University
Florida A&M University
Howard University
Jarvis Christian College
Johnson C. Smith University
Kentucky State University
LeMoyne-Owen College
Lincoln University
Livingstone College
Miles College
Morehouse College
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Central University
Prairie View A&M University
Saint Augustine’s University
Savannah State University
Talladega College
Tennessee State University
Texas Southern University
University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Virginia State University
Virginia Union University
West Virginia State University
Wilberforce University
Winston-Salem State University

WOMEN’S GOLF

Alabama State University
Bethune-Cookman University
Bishop State Community College
Bluefield State College
Chicago State University
Delaware State University
Fisk University
Howard University
Jarvis Christian College
Lincoln University
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Central University
Prairie View A&M University
Savannah State University
Tennessee State University
Texas Southern University
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Wilberforce University

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