The Southern Texas PGA Foundation will introduce and provide youth in south Texas broad opportunities to experience the game of golf, develop their talent as players and themselves as individuals and promote scholarship benefits to as many qualified candidates as possible. The STPGA Foundation will uphold the high degree of professionalism necessary to motivate young men and women to strive for personal integrity, honor and ideals.
In 1994 the Southern Texas PGA Foundation was formed as a 501 (c) (3) organization.
The Southern Texas PGA Foundation has four major aspects to its junior golf programming, the STPGA Prestige Tour, the STPGA Junior Tour, the STPGA Junior Links Tour and the STPGA Little Linksters. The Southern Texas PGA Foundation Junior Golf programs have grown from very modest beginnings to become the benchmark for other junior golf organizations in the country. A total of approximately 3,000 aspiring young golfers become Southern Texas PGA Junior Golf Members annually and have the opportunity to participate in more than 400 tournaments, clinics and activities on a year round basis. The total tournament rounds played by STPGA Junior Golfers annually approaches 20,000. That is close to the total rounds played at a small Country Club for an entire year!
The STPGA Junior Tour started prior to the formation of the STPGA Foundation in 1992 with just a few hundred junior members in San Antonio and Austin. It has since grown to 3,000 junior members from all across southern Texas. This tournament program for juniors ages 6-18 offers over 100 junior events on a year round basis in seven major metropolitan areas: Houston, Austin, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley, Bryan-College Station and San Antonio.
In 1994 the STPGA Little Linksters Program began as an instructional program throughout the greater Houston area. The program got its start when the Houston Golf Association eliminated the 10-11 year olds from their summer junior golf program and displaced this young age group. Since that start the program has blossomed to all areas in the Southern Texas PGA’s geographic boundaries including Austin, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Bryan-College Station, the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. Currently the Little Linksters Program offers over 200 clinics and 200+, 9-hole tournaments for the more than 1,200 STPGA Little Linksters ages 6-12. Parents of this age group have become participants and educated in the program also with over 800 registered as “Little Linkster Certified Caddies.” STPGA Little Linksters are motivated to stay in the game and improve by a stair-stepped approach. As the Little Linksters improve they graduate to higher levels within the program. Instruction from PGA Professionals is a requirement for participation.
The latest expansion of Junior Golf programming is the STPGA Junior Links Tour. This program is targeted at youth ages 13-18 that might be only beginning to play and are not ready for the STPGA Junior Tour, which is an 18-hole competitive program. Junior Links Tour events are 9-holes and include an instructional clinic. The Junior Links Tour has experienced significant growth in each of its three seasons.
The Southern Texas PGA makes junior golf a family activity by conducting over 30 Parent Junior tournaments each year. These events are typically conducted on Sunday afternoons and are 9 or 18 hole events with a food and beverage social function. A Select Drive-Alternate Shot format is used making the event fast, fun and enjoyable for all.
The Southern Texas PGA Foundation has a robust and significant college scholarship program. These scholarships are awarded to deserving youth based on academic achievement, standardized test scores, financial need, participation in junior golf, and involvement in the community. Including the 2012 Scholarships, the STPGA Foundation has awarded over 200 college scholarships valued at over $500,000 just since 1999.
The Southern Texas PGA Foundation has been able to grow its programming and maintain low costs for our customers, thanks in large part to support from the golf community and our corporate partners. In order to make a program of this magnitude function, the primary key has been the support of the 800 PGA Members and Apprentices in the Southern Texas PGA. These men and women make their golf facilities available at greatly reduced costs and often at no charge; conduct the golf instruction that is a cornerstone for the growth and success of our aspiring golfers; and serve as the primary ambassadors and promoters of the game and all Southern Texas PGA Junior Golf Programs. The Southern Texas PGA Foundation has been fortunate to find significant support through Corporate Sponsorship. These sponsors include: Academy Sports + Outdoors, TPC San Antonio and the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort, Sam Houston State University, Sprint, Sundog Eyewear, Matt Swanson School of Golf, University of Texas Golf Camps, Joe Caruso Golf School, PGA Tour Professional Wes Short, City of Mont Belvieu and Eagle Pointe Golf Club, the Insperity Championship, Bridgestone Golf Company, Srixon Cleveland Golf, Titleist and Acushnet Golf Company and the Pepsi Cola Company.
The Southern Texas PGA Foundation has a tremendous reach and positive effect in our geographic region. But, we are always striving to broaden our influence, grow the game of golf and touch more young people with the inherent positive virtues of our sport. This can only be accomplished with the support of other organizations both financially and in-kind.