Over 600 Huntsville City Schools (HCS) students from the Jemison High School feeder pattern participated in a special field trip to the HomeTown Lenders Golf Championship on Monday to kick off the start of the Drive, Chip, Putt Fore Success Junior Initiative. The new program will create several touchpoints for students in the feeder pattern throughout their K-12 journey in the hopes of creating clear pathways to a college education through the game of golf.
"We are thrilled to partner with the HomeTown Lenders Championship to provide this program for our students,” said Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Christie Finley. “Anytime that you can expose students to opportunities that are different than what they are used to it is a great thing. We look forward to partnering with the HomeTown Lenders Championship for years to come!"
- The Elementary Phase
During the Elementary Phase, students will be introduced to a golf curriculum during elementary school physical education classes. The HomeTown Lenders Championship will provide participating schools with equipment, drills and instructors to aid physical education teachers during the weeks of golf-related curriculum.
- The Teaching Phase
Upon completion of the Elementary Phase, students with a specific passion and interest in the sport will be provided individualized coaching. The Initiative will work with participants to ensure that costs are minimized and transportation is provided, allowing all children equal opportunity to receive additional instruction and mentorship to further their game and develop valuable life skills.
- The High School Phase
The Drive, Chip, Putt Fore Success Junior Initiative will provide funding for the Jemison High School golf program. This funding will cultivate an environment where all participating children have equitable access and opportunities to succeed. Participating students will receive all necessary equipment to compete as well as an affordable on-boarding to prevent costs from serving as a barrier to competition.
- The Scholarship Phase
The support provided by the Drive, Chip, Putt Fore Success Junior Initiative will extend beyond a student’s graduation from Jemison High School. A scholarship fund has been established to students who have participated in at least two years of the Drive, Chip, Putt Fore Success Junior Initiative.
Funding for the Drive, Chip, Putt Fore Success Junior Initiative will be supported by the HomeTown Lenders Championship, the Korn Ferry Tour, the Huntsville Golf Club, and Champion Partners of the HomeTown Lenders Championship. 20 percent of revenue collected through Champion Partner sponsorships will go towards the initiative.
“We’re honored to give back to the community in this way,” said Justin Belanger, tournament director for the HomeTown Lenders Championship. “Golf has grown exponentially in the past five years– the HomeTown Lenders Championship is a direct result of that. Getting to continue to cultivate the sport right here in Huntsville is extremely important to us.”
The HomeTown Lenders Championship has been philanthropically involved with the Huntsville community since its inaugural year in 2020. A portion of funds generated from the tournament are donated to the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. The Drive, Chip, Putt Fore Success Junior Initiative will proactively use funds from the tournament that are distributed to the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville’s Racial Equity Fund to support programming.
“The support of the Jemison High School golf program will allow for an unprecedented level of access to golf in Huntsville,” said Melissa Thompson, CEO and president of the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. “The diversity seen in golf in Huntsville and golf in general matters. Future generations of athletes will be able to see themselves in the graduates from this program and that’s paramount to getting kids invested.”