Youth on Course, the national program designed to make golf
more accessible to juniors, awarded a grand total of $296,000 in scholarships in
2021. Twenty exemplary high school seniors will use the funds to take the next
step in their academic futures.
Since 2008, nearly $2 million has been awarded in college
scholarships to YOC members. Nearly 95% of the youths who participate in YOC go
on to college and earn their degrees. Forty percent of them are the first in
their family to attend college.
One of the 20 scholarship recipients this year hails from San
Roman Ramirez began taking golf more seriously during his
freshman year of high school after he was introduced to the sport by his
grandfather as a young child.
“In elementary and middle school, my grandpa used to take me
to play the par 3 course at Riverside,” Ramirez said. “During the summer before
my freshman year, I went to the driving range and hit a whole large bucket of
balls and left feeling unsuccessful. It built a drive inside of me to improve
as fast as possible and to be the best I could be.”
Ramirez intends to be the first in his family to attend
college thanks to the YOC scholarship.
“Golf has opened up so many opportunities, I am setting up my
path for a successful future,” Ramirez said. “I went from playing with my
grandpa to AJGA tournaments and Junior Golf National Championship qualifiers. Golf
has taught me discipline and that failing happens a lot in golf. But it gives
you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and better yourself.”
He plans to enroll in Our Lady of the Lake University and
major in mathematics. Located in Ramirez’s hometown of San Antonio, Our Lady of
the Lake is a private university founded in 1895. Ramirez hopes to play college
golf, win a national championship and go play on the PGA Tour.
Helping kids like Ramirez is YOC’s reason for being. The
program and the people involved believe every youth’s life can be bettered through
the game of golf. Whether that’s growing as an individual, making connections,
building character or gaining opportunities, YOC uses golf to shape the lives
of young people in meaningful ways.
“Golf has taught me lifetime lessons,” Ramirez said. “It’s
been the best thing that has ever happened to me. Without it, I really don’t
know what I would be doing. Golf is a blessing.”
With all the social distancing regulations and general
unknowns over the past two years due to the pandemic, the game of golf has
grown exponentially. Now more than ever, people everywhere are flocking to
luscious green golf courses and enjoying relaxing rounds in the fresh air.
Unfortunately, due to the financial burden golf can bring, few young people
with a passion for the game have the resources to tee it up whenever they wish.
Enter YOC. It was founded to solve this exact problem and
helps make the game more accessible and affordable for juniors nationwide. Originally
founded by the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA) in 2006, YOC is a
nonprofit organization that’s core purpose is helping boys and girls of all
ages grow and succeed on and off the course without breaking the bank. They
believe in “the power of play” and the power of golf in the lives of juniors
In 2020, the TGA Foundation launched the Youth on Course
program here in Texas. For just $5 or less, juniors are given access to play
golf all around the state of Texas, as well as nationally. The program debuted
only in the San Antonio area and has now expanded to West Texas, DFW and Hill
Country regions. In addition to access to courses and college scholarships, YOC
offers a caddie program and paid high school internships to ensure its efforts
to support young people go beyond the 18th green.
To learn more about Youth on Course in Texas, click here. To learn more about
YOC nationally, click here.