Exclusive Automotive Partner of USGA National Championships Helps Introduce Youth to the Game and Encourages a Passion for the Sport
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (June 16, 2010)—For the third year, Lexus and the United States Golf Association have selected Hook A Kid On Golf as the charitable recipient to receive financial support in conjunction with the U.S. Open Championship. Hook A Kid On Golf provides communities throughout the country with the tools and resources necessary to start their own comprehensive youth golf programs, introducing golfers to the sport at a young age.
One of 13 national championships conducted each year by the USGA, the 2010 U.S. Open Championship takes place June 14-20 at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.
“Lexus is pleased to support Hook A Kid On Golf, a program that creates opportunities for kids to get involved in the game and learn about life, as well as golf,” said Dave Nordstrom, Lexus vice president of marketing. “When we partnered with the USGA, we wanted to participate at a grassroots level. This relationship provides the perfect opportunity for young people to learn the fundamentals of golf, as well as develop skills that will help them in life: patience, persistence and integrity. These qualities are inherent to the game and will stay with them over their lifetime.”
The Lexus Drive for Success Grant provides funding to set up golf clinics in various communities. The program also provides young golfers the opportunity to continue playing golf beyond their initial introductory golf experience and incorporate the game into their lifestyle.
The Hook A Kid On Golf program, founded in 1990 by the West Palm Beach, Fla.-based National Alliance for Youth Sports, encourages youngsters to learn the game of golf and continue to play, while instilling in them an understanding of golf’s rules, etiquette and history. The USGA assisted with the creation of HAKOG by providing a $90,000 start-up challenge grant and continues to provide support for the program.
“Lexus and the USGA’s generous donation to the Hook A Kid On Golf program will provide the next generation of would-be golfers greater access to the game,” said Caitlin Autwell, Director for Hook A Kid On Golf. “Involving kids in sports at an early age helps improve self-esteem and forms a foundation for healthy habits later on in life. This contribution will help make a difference in many children’s lives.”
During the USGA’s three Open championships this summer, beginning with the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, Lexus will host activities at the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion, including: the Lexus Full Swing Golf Simulator, E-Shot photo opportunities with a full-size replica of the U.S. Open Championship Trophy in front of a backdrop of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, daily autograph signings, putting clinics and visits with golf greats. The pavilion will showcase the IS Convertible with F-Sport™ Equipment and an exclusive Lexus LS 460 covered in dimples similar to a golf ball. More than 275 courtesy cars will be available for players, caddies, staff and U.S. Open officials, including the LX, GX, RX and LS.
In early 2007, Lexus and the USGA announced their unprecedented multi-year partnership. The landmark agreement made Lexus the first automotive partner in USGA history and the official vehicle of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championships.
In addition to Lexus’ relationship with the USGA and Hook A Kid On Golf, the automaker created the Lexus Champions for Charity series of golf tournaments in 1989 to benefit local charities across the U.S. Since its inception, Champions for Charity has generated more than $135 million for charities through more than 3,000 events. Lexus’ primary philanthropic initiative is The Lexus Pursuit of Potential, which supports organizations that build, shape and improve children’s lives to help them reach their potential and fuel their desire to make the world a better place.
Lexus is the leading luxury automaker in the United States. With its reputation for high-quality products and exemplary customer service from its 228 dealers, Lexus has been the top-selling luxury automaker for ten years in a row. In addition, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader, now offering four hybrids that provide the best in innovative technology and first-class luxury. When Lexus was established in 1989, it offered two models of vehicles. Now, more than 20 years later, Lexus offers variations of 11 vehicles, from the entry-level IS 250 to its first V10 supercar, the LFA.
About Hook A Kid On Golf
Hook A Kid On Golf is one of America’s most comprehensive youth golf development organizations. Its offerings include Start Smart Golf, Tee Level Clinics, Green Level Training Programs, Challenge Golf Leagues and the annual Traditions of Golf Challenge national tournament. Hook A Kid On Golf is a past recipient of the Golf Digest Player Development Award and the PGA Tour’s prestigious Card Walker Award, which is presented annually in recognition of a significant contribution to junior golf. The program has introduced well over 50,000 children to the game since its inception and programs are run at over 200 clinic sites across the country and on military bases around the world. Hook A Kid On Golf, which is based in West Palm Beach, Florida is overseen by the National Alliance for Youth Sports. It was created with the assistance of a grant from the United States Golf Association in 1990.
About the USGA
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in the USA and Mexico. The USGA annually conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and 10 national amateur championships. It also conducts two state team championships and helps conduct the Walker Cup Match, Curtis Cup Match and World Amateur Team Championships.
The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, maintains a Handicap System® and celebrates the history of the game. Since 1983, the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program has awarded more than $31 million to more than 400 research projects for better turf and a better environment at universities across the country. The USGA also funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program, which has allocated more than $65 million over 13 years to programs that bring the game’s values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities.