The PGA of America has given the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) Foundation $50,000 to fund grants to help facilities attract golfers to the game in the United States. Through this latest initiative – called “First Links” and part of the PGA’s continued efforts to grow the game through its Golf 2.0 program – ASGCA will use the gift to award $2,000 grants to golf facilities which successfully complete an application process.

Each grant allows an ASGCA member to visit the facility and perform an evaluation of land use and the golf course and make recommendations on what the facility might do to attract and welcome new players. These one-day visits will be followed by submission of a site evaluation report describing ideas for layout or open land reconfiguration.

“The PGA of America is making a strong financial commitment to grow the game by making this gift to the ASGCA Foundation and I am also pleased so many ASGCA members have offered to lend their expertise to the effort,” said ASGCA President Rick Phelps. “Many facilities may not know how to even think about repurposing unused land or looking at their existing layouts in a different way. ‘First Links’ provides an opportunity for facilities to see the kind of creative problem-solving ASGCA members are known for and to get more players on the course.”

“Our industry recognizes the future of the game lies in our present ability to retain players and to increase the enjoyment of the golf experience,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “’First Links’ will heighten the customer service capabilities of staff in facilities everywhere.”

Online applications for golf facilities to request a visit from an ASGCA member are available at http://www.asgca.local. To secure a visit during the summer of 2012, applications must be submitted by April 15.

For more information on ASGCA, the ASGCA Foundation and “First Links,” call (262) 786-5960 or e-mail Aileen Smith,