Beginning in 2024, Special Olympics athletes can compete in Topgolf as an individual or as an officially sanctioned team
DALLAS, April 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Topgolf is beyond excited to share that beginning in 2024, Topgolf will be an officially sanctioned event with Special Olympics, the first time a brand has become a medaled event. That means Special Olympics athletes will be able to compete in Topgolf as an individual or with a team through Special Olympics Unified Sports®, which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team for training and competition. Modern golf entertainment leader Topgolf is committed to making the game of golf more diverse, inclusive and fun, and with off-course golf participation at an all-time high, the partnership with Special Olympics was an easy "yes!" for Topgolf.
"We have a responsibility now more than ever to invite everyone into the game of golf, and our partnership with Special Olympics will help us further unleash the power of play and bring more joy to more people," said Topgolf Chief Brand Officer Geoff Cottrill.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the local organizing committee for any Special Olympics event held across the U.S. or around the globe will have the option to include Topgolf as a global medaled event, potentially including the Special Olympics USA Games and World Games.
"I've been at Topgolf for 14 years, and this partnership will go down as one of the things I'm most proud of," said Topgolf's Director of Charitable Initiatives Tiffany Brush. "Topgolf is changing the traditional definition of 'golfer,' and to see Special Olympics athletes so enthusiastic about Topgolf is a clear example of how we're making the game more inclusive and open for all."
In fact, Topgolf's very own Playmakers (aka Associates) may even be competing in upcoming Special Olympics events, as the company currently has 18 Playmakers who are also Special Olympics athletes.
Before the Games Begin
Topgolf isn't waiting until the next National or World Games to kick off the partnership, though. Beginning in May 2023, Topgolf will offer free practice sessions and exhibitions to Special Olympics athletes and Unified Sports® participants.
Beginning Sept. 15, 2023, Players who visit a Topgolf venue throughout the U.S. and the U.K. will have the opportunity to donate to Special Olympics as part of Topgolf's "Season of Giving," lasting through Oct. 31, 2023. Each venue aims to raise $10,000, with an overall goal of more than $500,000. On top of that, Topgolf locations in the U.S. and U.K. will hold "Days of Giving" on Oct. 26 and 27 as Special Olympics athletes visit Topgolf venues to support Playmakers and interact with Players.
In 2024, Topgolf will host the first Unified Fore Joy fundraising tournament at five U.S. venues, bringing together Special Olympics
athletes, Unified partners, professional golfers, celebrities and supporters. Topgolf is underwriting the tournament, which will raise a minimum of $500,000.
"A partnership with Topgolf will help Special Olympics demonstrate to the world how inclusive sport training and competition is a catalyst for inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities," said Lou Lauria, Chief of Sport and Competition at Special Olympics. "Special Olympics and Topgolf are completely aligned on the belief in the unlimited power of sport. What starts on the playing field extends into classrooms, workplaces and communities."
A Topgolf Callaway Brands Corp. (NYSE: MODG) brand, Topgolf is the ultimate instigator of play. Thanks to our 80+ venues around the globe, industry-leading Toptracer technology, mobile games and app, we're leading the charge of modern golf wherever our Players are. We offer a variety of tech-driven games, a top-tier food and drink menu, and a vibe focused on more play for all. Topgolf brands are on a mission to enable Players to hit 50 billion golf balls between 2022 and 2025. To learn more or make plans to come play around, visit topgolf.com.
About Topgolf Callaway Brands
Topgolf Callaway Brands Corp. (NYSE: MODG) is an unrivaled tech-enabled Modern Golf and active lifestyle company delivering leading golf equipment, apparel and entertainment, with a portfolio of global brands including Topgolf, Callaway Golf, TravisMathew, Toptracer, Odyssey, OGIO, Jack Wolfskin and World Golf Tour ("WGT"). "Modern Golf" is the dynamic and inclusive ecosystem that includes both on-course and off-course golf. Learn more at topgolfcallawaybrands.com.
About Special Olympics
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health and leadership. Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.