Golf News for Friday, June 13, 2008 | Marketing

Vince Gill and Amy Grant representing Family Golf Month again

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -­ Grammy award winners and golf enthusiasts Vince Gill and Amy Grant, along with their seven-year-old daughter, Corrina Grant Gill, are the Family Golf Month spokesfamily for the second consecutive year. Last year, more than 1,100 facilities hosted Family Golf Month events in its second year, an 823 percent increase from 2006 (120 facilities).

Family Golf Month, held during July at participating facilities nationwide, offers family golf clinics and play days for a nominal fee and provides a structured, yet casual opportunity for families to learn the game of golf together. PGA Professionals may also customize additional programs that best fit their facility, resources and style such as 3-, 6- or 9-hole scrambles or a family cookout to celebrate the day. Take Your Daughter to the Course Week (July 7-13), a program developed by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) in 2000, and Bring Your Kids to the Range, a Golf Digest Publications and Golf Range Association of America (GRAA) initiative, are two additional programs promoted during the month. Another family golf opportunity, The PGA Family Course Program, was launched last August at facilities nationwide in partnership with U.S. Kids Golf and their Personal Tee Program. By year's end, more than 300 golf courses participated in the year-round program.

"Vince Gill and Amy Grant are such great supporters of the game of golf and we are thrilled that they, along with Corrina, continue to help promote family golf," said PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb. "They recognize the benefits of playing the game together, and we know that they will inspire other families to find local PGA Professionals offering family events."

Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Corrina will help promote Family Golf Month through public service announcements and print ads. Gill and Grant, both avid golfers, have already introduced the game to Corrina.

"Golf has always been a great activity for families to get outdoors and enjoy themselves," Gill said. "I don't think children are ever too young to enjoy the game of golf. Johnny Miller gave me the great advice to make it fun every time you take your kids out there, so that is what we do with Corrina," Gill added.

Gill began playing golf with his father, J. Stanley Gill, on a course in the small town of Crescent, Okla., when he was around five or six years old. Grant began golfing as an adult, and treasures the memories she has of golfing with her family.

"My parents are in their 70s and it's the only athletic thing I can imagine that we can all do together," Grant said. "Many times, Vince and I have been on a golf course with our kids and we've been able to enjoy the sunset. The game itself provides opportunities to enjoy nature and have unhurried conversations."

Consumers can find a complete list of facilities participating in Family Golf Month along with details on specific events and online registration, by zip code on the Play Golf America Web site at PlayGolfAmerica.com.

Vince Gill has sold more than 26 million albums. He has earned 18 CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 1993 and 1994. He is tied with George Strait for having won the most CMA Male Vocalist Awards (five), and is currently second only to Brooks and Dunn for accumulating the most CMA Awards in history. Gill is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and has received 19 Grammy Awards to date, the most of any male Country artist. An avid golfer, he helped create the annual Vince Gill Pro-Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament ("The Vinny") in 1993 in order to help support junior golf programs throughout Tennessee. Besides being known for his talent as a performer, musician and songwriter, Gill is regarded as one of Country Music's best known humanitarians, participating in hundreds of charitable events throughout his career. In August of 2007, the Country Music Association inducted Gill as the newest members of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame. For more information, visit vincegill.com.

In her 30-year music career, Amy Grant has sold more than 30 million albums around the world, won six Grammy awards and 25 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, including four-time Artist of the Year, and established herself as a musical pioneer who opened mainstream radio to the sounds of Christian music, paving the way for future Christian artists. Grant is one of only two Christian artists to be awarded a star on the legendary Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Grant was also the host of the NBC primetime television series "Three Wishes," which fulfills the hopes and dreams of deserving people in towns across the United States. For more information, visit amygrant.com.

Play Golf America, designed to increase participation among new and occasional adult golfers, was developed by The PGA of America, with the support of Allied Associations including: the LPGA, National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA Tour, USGA and others involved in the annual Golf 20/20 Conference. The program utilizes the PlayGolfAmerica.com Web site to serve as a link for consumers to access fun, affordable and informative programs in their area.

Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold; to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the $76 billion golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf. For more information, visit PGA.com.

The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) is the leading authority on the business of golf course ownership and management. The Association represents the key decision makers with ultimate responsibility for golf courses throughout the world. Through advocacy, information resources, purchasing programs and networking opportunities, the NGCOA (ngcoa.org) helps golf course owners and operators run more successful businesses.

Founded in 1992, the Golf Range Association of America (GRAA) is a trade association for owner/operators involved with golf ranges and public-access golf courses and short courses in the U.S. and Canada with a teaching/practice facility. The GRAA publishes GOLF RANGE MAGAZINE, its national trade publication for 12,000 industry members. The GRAA is based in Connecticut. For more information visit GolfRange.org.

Golf Digest Publications is part of Condé Nast Publications. Condé Nast Publications, a unit of Advance Publications, includes twenty-eight consumer magazines and their websites, eight uniquely branded websites, the Fairchild Fashion Group, Parade, the Condé Nast Media Group, and the Shared Services Centers.

Media Contacts:
Randy Stutzman, PGA of America (rstutzman@pgahq.com), 561-624-8438
Tammy Boclair, Alday Communications (tammy@aldaycommunications.com),
615-791-1535, x26