Texas Golf Association, Since 1906
Texas Golf Association, Since 1906

Junior Golf Initiatives

Junior Golf Initiatives

The Texas Golf Association Foundation, the charitable arm of the TGA, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that was established to make certain that golf in Texas continues to grow and prosper.

It achieves this mission through the financial and administrative support of existing grass-roots junior golf development programs, and in creating new avenues for deserving and underserved youth to learn some of life’s most important lessons through their exposure to the game of golf. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have played the game for any length of time can attest that golf has inherent traits – honesty, self-discipline, integrity and the competitive spirit – that prove to be immensely valuable in life. Additionally, the golf-related industry offers many exciting job opportunities like PGA professional, course superintendent and club management.

By ensuring that deserving young people from every walk-of-life have the opportunity to be exposed to this great game and the accompanying valuable life lessons to be learned, as well as discovering the many possible career opportunities surrounding the sport, the TGA Foundation expects that golf in the Lone Star State will be in good hands for generations to come.

The TGA Foundation is funded solely by private and corporate donations, which are fully tax-exempt to the extent allowed by the IRS. Contributions help support future expansion and to enhance current programs and initiatives that now include the Bill Penn Grant, TGA Works, Romero Scholarship Program, The First Tee of Greater Dallas and the Legends Junior Tour, a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association and the Northern and Southern Texas Sections of the PGA.

  1. Bill Penn Grant
  2. TGA Works
  3. John Semander Family Scholarship (2018)
  4. Romero Scholarship Program
  5. Junior Girls Travel Fund
  6. Legends Junior Tour
  7. The First Tee of Greater Dallas

Bill Penn Grant

The TGA Foundation reaches out to a new generation through the Bill Penn Grant, named for former Executive Director of the Association and one of the state’s true ambassadors of the game. This grant helps to financially support established community outreach programs such as the World Golf Foundation’s The First Tee and the Northern Texas PGA’s Golf-In-Schools program. Currently, there are 17 First Tee program facilities all across Texas, with several more in developmental stages. Together with Golf-In-Schools, the First Tee reaches thousands of kids on the local level, providing instruction, educational material and, of course, encouragement.

Applications for the 2018 Bill Penn grant will open on February 15.  Applications will be accepted and will be available HERE beginning February 15.  Interested organizations are encouraged to complete the application no later than March 31, 2018.  For more information, please contact Stacy Dennis.

TGA Works

TGA Works provides young people (ages 15-18) in Texas with paid summer internships at TGA member clubs and facilities. Potential candidates typically come from The First Tee chapters, the Houston Golf Association, Roaring Lambs and other established junior golf programs from across the state. Students are then carefully screened and coached by the Foundation before being sent to the club for their final interview.

Once hired, the 10-week program exposes interns to all facets of club operations where they will ideally spend an equal amount of time alongside club managers, PGA professionals and golf course superintendents, all the while developing important personal qualities such as honesty, respect, and self-esteem.

It’s not all work and no play for the interns, though. As part of the agreement with member clubs, interns receive hands-on instruction and are encouraged to get out on the course and apply what they’ve learned when scheduling permits.

TGA Works hopes to have a measurable and long-lasting impact on the lives of young men and women in Texas by providing meaningful employment, the chance to work closely with positive role models, creating a nurturing environment in which to learn how to play the game, and about golf-related career possibilities.

Click here for more information and details about TGA Works.

John Semander Family Scholarship

The John Semander Scholarship was created to provide financial assistance to support and encourage golfers who are seeking higher education.  The scholarship recipients shall exemplify academic proficiency and illustrate a connection to the game of golf.

The scholarship is named for John Semander, a long-time TGA volunteer and Past Director who has given his time, energy and resources to promote golf in Texas for many years.  His contributions to the game of golf have benefitted countless players and his dedication, character and lifelong connection to golf are attributes that the John Semander
Scholarship Program endeavors to honor and encourage in the next generation of young golfers.

Click here for complete scholarship information

Romero Scholarship Program

This scholarship was established to honor the memory of longtime TGA Director Dr. Robert Romero, or “Dr. Bob” as he was called by all who came to know him. Dr. Bob embodied the true volunteer spirit and devoted untold hours giving back to the game he dearly loved.

During his 20-plus years as a TGA director, he continually traversed across the state working the association’s championships as a rules official, starter or in whatever capacity was needed.

Dr. Bob was also a dedicated golf course rater and likely drove more miles and rated more golf courses than anyone could possibly imagine. His legacy lives on through a scholarship program in his name, designed to provide financial support to young boys and girls so they will have the opportunity to enroll in junior golf developmental programs or challenge themselves in tournament play.

Junior Girls Travel Fund

This fund provides financial assistance to Texas junior girl golfers who qualify for the U.S. Girls Junior Championship each summer.  This fund was established in 1986 by the late ‘Nez Muhleman of Houston, who served as a USGA volunteer on the U.S. Girls Junior Committee for 31 years as well as volunteering for countless local, collegiate and state-wide competitions.  The fund’s purpose is to ensure that junior girls from all over the state of Texas who do qualify have the opportunity and resources needed to go play.

To date, over 425 Texas girls have received financial support to compete in the USGA’s National Championship.  Many girls have also gone on to receive college scholarships because of their golf and academic achievements.

This fund is solely designed to secure donations and raise funds to pay for the girls’ travel and caddie fees.  Donations are welcome from State Associations, clubs and individuals.  The Junior Girls Travel Fund Committee was formed in 2011 when Mrs. Muhleman retired from the USGA after receiving its highest volunteer award, the Joe Dey Award.  The JGTF Committee is committed to continuing ‘Nez’s efforts and ideals to support all eligible junior girls.

Please contact Ellen Earle, Committee Chair, at (281)-265-3696 or elle2earle@gmail.com  for inquiries regarding player participation or tournament sponsorship for the next ‘Nez Muhleman Fundraiser Golf Tournament.  If you are interested in donating to this great cause, click HERE or contact Ellen Earle for more information.

Legends Junior Tour

The Legends Junior Tour was started by the Northern and Southern Texas sections of the PGA, along with the Texas Golf Association. The Tour operates as part of the TGA Foundation under the guidance of the TGA Championship Department. Since its inception in 2005, the Tour has provided over $250,000 to promote junior golf initiatives of the sections and TGA Foundations.

The Legends Junior Tour is home to such prestigious events as the HP Byron Nelson Junior Championship, Texas Cup Invitational, Jackie Burke Cup, George Hannon Junior Invitational and Texas State Junior Championship.

An important aspect of the Legends Junior Tour is that it is part of the AJGA Performance Based Entry process, with the majority of events on the schedule awarding AJGA Tournament Exemptions to top finishers.

Eligibility is open to young men and women ages 19 & under, who meet the minimum handicap requirements and have distinguished themselves in local, regional, statewide and national competitions. The Legends Junior Tour will also serve as a natural progression for those players who have competed successfully in the NTPGA and STPGA’s developmental junior series.

To learn more about the Legends Junior Tour, click on the link below:

The First Tee of Greater Dallas

Effective August 15, 2007, The TGA Foundation reached an agreement to manage and operate the North Texas Junior Golf and Educational Foundation, dba The First Tee of Greater Dallas (TFTD).

TFTD, established in 1997, is part of the national The First Tee Program and is one of more than 200 independent, nonprofit Chapters across the country whose shared mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

Presently, TFTGD conducts after-school and weekend programs at 18 facilities in Dallas and the surrounding areas. In addition to its core programming, TFTGD conducts outreach programming at schools, youth centers, and churches across the area.

A key component of TFTD’s outreach efforts is The First Tee National School Program (NSP). This program provides equipment, teacher training, and curriculum materials to 60 schools and more than 12,000 DISD and Irving ISD elementary students annually.

Each year, over 15,000 young people, ages 7-17, learn how the values displayed on the golf course can translate to other parts of their lives. Currently, TFTD is working to grow the reach of its programs while focusing on major initiatives designed to encourage healthy living and lower the high-school dropout rate amongst area youth.

To learn more about The First Tee of Greater Dallas, click on the link below:

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