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Nov. 28, 2016

ACE Grant passes $3 million milestone

BRASELTON, Ga. – The American Junior Golf Association announces the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program reached a reimbursement milestone of $3 million December 1.

The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant is a financial assistance program providing opportunities to the underserved community of young men and women who have developed the skills and talents to pursue their dreams of earning a college golf scholarship through competitive junior golf.

In 2003, the AJGA gifted its first ACE Grant through private donations, ultimately helping 12 junior golfers compete in national junior golf events. In 2016, the program hit a new record with 206 recipients. In its history, the AJGA has given more than 1,552 grants, reimbursing 820 players. The program hit the $2 million mark in August of 2014, and last year, Smylie Kaufman became the first ACE Grant recipient to win on the PGA TOUR at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open.

In 2004, Rolex signed on to be the inaugural Founding Partner to the ACE Grant, and since has been joined by organizations and donors such as the ANNIKA Foundation, Jimmy and Erin Walker, Patrick and Justine Reed, the Payne Stewart Family Foundation, Polo Ralph Lauren and Wyndham Worldwide in its efforts to raise funds for junior golfers in need. Additionally, AJGA alumni on the PGA and LPGA Tours, as well as thousands of private and corporate donors, have invested in golf’s next generation, committing charitable and personal funds to the program.

Because of these generous donations, ACE Grant players and their families have experienced high level, national junior golf and as a result, have earned more than $14 million in college scholarships and over 339 players have signed National Letters of Intent at 196 different universities.

“To reach $3 million in reimbursements with our ACE Grant program is exceptional,” said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. “The ACE Grant is one of the most important initiatives the AJGA has ever undertaken. It provides an opportunity for many talented young golfers to fulfill the mission of competing on the college level, and we are extremely proud of its service to the next generation.”

To donate to the ACE Grant, please visit ajga.org/donations or contact Vice President of Development Walker Hill at whill@ajga.org.

About the AJGA

The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 6,600 members from 50 states and 55 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas, Stacy Lewis, Ariya Jutanugarn , Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.