It's been at the core of The PLAYERS Championship mission since its inception: serving their Northeast Florida neighbors any way they can. In terms of helping the next generation of golfers, The PLAYERS has a long-standing partnership with The First Tee of North Florida; they also have partnerships with the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University.
Now, you can add Edward Waters College to that list.
The PLAYERS Championship made a $50,000 donation to the school official on Monday afternoon, as the Tigers will re-launch their women's golf team. EWC previously had a women's golf team up until it was disbanded in 2015. The school is now one of just two, Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) in the state of Florida to offer women's golf.
“When the EWC team shared their vision with us and indicated that the revitalization of the women’s golf program was a primary focus for the College, we were inspired to support their mission,” Jared Rice, Executive Director of The Players Championship said. “As home to the PGA TOUR and host of its flagship event, we are committed to efforts that reflect our mission and values of being good stewards in the communities where we play. We are honored by the opportunity to help elevate the student-athlete experience at EWC and promote and grow the game of golf right in our hometown.”
“I am elated to partner with THE PLAYERS Championship,” said Dr. Paul Bryant, EWC Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “This joint effort to reignite women’s golf will enhance our offering of sports and give young women the opportunity to play the sport they love at a high level.”
For Dr. A Zachary Faison Jr., EWC's President and CEO, this program bears special meaning. During his first stop working at the school in 2008, he took great joy in working with the lady golfers as well as their head coach: Pepper Pete, the wife of legendary golfer Calvin Peete.
“Edward Waters College is fortunate to be aligned with outstanding organizations such as THE PLAYERS Championship and PGA TOUR,” Dr. Faison said. “This donation will not only reinvigorate the women’s golf team, it will attract talented women to attend Edward Waters College from across the country due to the name recognition of our new partners. We thank the leadership and volunteers of THE PLAYERS and PGA TOUR for this special investment in the College’s athletics program and look forward to becoming a competitive force in women’s golf soon.”
The program hopes to begin play in 2022.