Since 1989, there has been no greater supporter of the American Junior Golf Association than Titleist. On Friday, Feb. 17, at the AJGA’s Digger Smith Banquet during the Association’s Annual Meeting in Braselton, Ga., Acushnet Company Chairman and CEO Wally Uihlein announced a 10-year extension of Titleist’s National Sponsorship, maintaining the company’s position as the foundation to the AJGA’s continued growth and success.
“The AJGA is the world’s premier junior golf organization,” Uihlein said. “The extension of our current commitment is intended to reinforce the current direction of the AJGA which continues to provide a national competitive opportunity for thousands of junior golfers each year, helping maximize their opportunity to earn a college golf scholarship. In addition, the extension of our current agreement provides the AJGA with the long-term financial stability it has long coveted and justly deserves.”
Seventeen years ago, Titleist, as National Sponsor, became the AJGA’s first unrestricted partner, allowing the Association to use Titleist’s financial support to further the AJGA Mission without any parameters. In short, this agreement allowed the AJGA to further evolve into the world’s best vehicle for top-flight junior golfers to get the exposure needed to garner college golf scholarships.
“Titleist’s unwavering support of the AJGA and junior golf is unparalleled,” AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin said. “The recommitment of Titleist will continue to allow the AJGA to reach goals once considered dreams. Looking back at what we’ve accomplished and looking forward toward new objectives and challenges, I feel confident the AJGA is set up for success for many years to come.”
During Titleist’s tenure as National Sponsor, the AJGA has upgraded every facet of the Association. As a result, initiatives such as increasing the number of tournaments conducted, making events more affordable by regionalizing the schedule, giving more accessibility to the AJGA through Srixon Qualifiers, Medicus Preseason/Postseason events, Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series events and Performance Based Entry, and creating the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant financial assistance program, were made possible.
In looking at the numbers, the AJGA has grown from 2,622 members in 1989 to 4,930 members in 2005. AJGA tournaments have grown from 24 to 75 events in 2006, with five events being conducted simultaneously during most summer weeks in 33 states and Mexico. With the steady growth in staff and tournaments, the AJGA’s budget has increased dramatically from $1.1 million in 1989 to a projected $8 million in 2006. An AJGA staff of just seven full-time employees has jumped to 52 in January 2006, filling the Association’s 17,000 square-foot National Headquarters that opened in 2000.