Youth on Course — the non-profit organization dedicated to opening doors, supporting dreams and transforming the lives of young people through opportunities on and off the golf course – has named PGA TOUR player Harold Varner, III as its first national ambassador.
To date, Varner III has contributed to YOC Carolinas through the HV3 Foundation and will be expanding support by substantially funding the Carolinas region’s programming in 2021. In his new role, Varner III serves as an official spokesperson for Youth on Course (YOC) and will advocate for the organization’s mission of providing affordable access to golf and bringing life-changing opportunities to young golfers across the country and in turn, help create a more inclusive and diverse future for the game.
“Harold has been a vocal champion of our organization for years, not to mention his significant financial contributions which made a huge difference for young golfers in the Carolinas,” says Adam Heieck, CEO of Youth on Course. “With his community support through the HV3 Foundation and shared goal to grow the game, Harold is the perfect role model to represent Youth on Course on a national scale. We are so proud to have him join our team in an official role.”
Varner, III created the HV3 Foundation in 2019 to help bring awareness to the rising cost of entry and access in sports and provide kids with affordable opportunities to help negate those challenges. Through personal funding, fundraising, donations and sponsorships, the Foundation has been able to provide financial assistance for equipment, after-school programs, instruction, and camps to cultivate young people’s passions. The HV3 Foundation also hosts an annual HV3 Invitational for junior golfers and is the tournament title sponsor for an American Junior Golf Association Junior All-Star event.
“Youth on Course is a life-changing program for the golf industry. Allowing kids of all backgrounds to play the game without placing financial burdens on families is a game changer,” says Varner, III. “I’m so appreciative of the support I had as a junior golfer and have been fortunate to be able to give back to the next generation of young golfers. I’ve always been passionate about making the game more open and accessible and YOC has shown they share my goals. I’m so excited to be a part of the team and help make a difference for these kids.”
Committed to making the game more appealing, inclusive and accessible to nurture the next generation of lifelong players and lovers of the game, Youth on Course provides more than 100,000 members with affordable access to play rounds of golf for $5 or less at more than 1,400 courses across the country and in parts of Canada. Members also benefit from career opportunities through Youth on Course’s caddie and internship programs and can utilize support for continuing education through their college scholarships. To date, more than $2 million has been awarded through the scholarship program.
In 2020, Youth on Course saw a significant rise in play with membership increasing by 56% and eclipsing one million rounds of golf played. Fueling the golf industry, 400,000 rounds of golf were subsidized, an increase of 100% from the previous year, and generated a total of $2.8 million back to golf courses from unused tee times.