The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development and the Ted Rhodes Foundation Inc. are excited to announce their coming together to further advance the game of golf at the grass roots level. With the development and institution of several new grant programs, the two like-minded 501c3 organizations look forward to soon allow several worthy children ages pre-k through grade school the opportunity to further their development with and through the game of golf.
“Like all good new-age relationships, Peggy Rhodes-White and I along with her daughter Tiffany began discussions through a Facebook chat” explains Little Linksters founder, PGA Professional Brendon Elliott. “I felt there was some synergy between the mission that their foundation has and what our non-profit provides and believes in, so I reached out to them.”
“We have been searching for someone to partner with who shared the same vision. The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development is the perfect match with our vision of legacy for Ted Rhodes.” explains Peggy Rhodes White, President of the Ted Rhodes Foundation named in honor of her late father, legendary golfing pioneer Ted Rhodes.
The scholarship dollars will be provided through the Ted Rhodes Foundation Inc. and will allow children to partake in programs ran through the acclaimed Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development currently based in Central Florida.
“I explained to Peggy and Tiffany what our Association provides in terms of instruction as well as introductory to advanced tournament experiences for children as young as three years old. I also explained to her my involvement with several PGA lead youth initiatives such as the PGA Sports Academy Boys & Girls Club program and PGA Junior League Golf” said Elliott.
“Brendon explained to me that he felt more children should have the opportunity to experience golf at younger ages but due to economic situations some families could not provide them that chance. We truly understood where he was coming from, especially in terms of the kids that take part in the PGA Sports Academy programs at the Boys & Girls Club” explains Rhodes White.
Several scholarships will be offered to selected, qualifying children in Central Florida in a handful of ways. The first scholarship program called the “Links Grant” will provide four children who take part in the PGA Sports Academy Boys & Girls Club program in Sanford, FL the opportunity to have a “continuing education” through Little Linksters. “Two children from the summer session and two from the fall session at the Boys & Girls Club will be given an all-access membership into Little Linksters for one year” explained Elliott. “The grant will pay for their Little Linksters membership, a year of our instruction program, entry into all of our Little Linksters Tour events for the year and a new set of US Kids Golf clubs.” The second “Links Grant” program (launching in the fall of 2014) will provide up to six qualifying children in the Central Florida area the same opportunity that’s being extended to the Boys & Girls Club children.
The last grant will be offered to one child and will provide them the opportunity to become a member of the Little Linksters Golf Academy PGA Junior League team for the upcoming season as well as a new set of US Kids Golf clubs. “We are going to ask children ages 7-13 to write an essay to explain why they love golf and why they want to be on the team” explained Elliott.
The entry period for the PGA Junior League grant will take place from April 1st through April 25th. All entries should be mailed to:
Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development
PO Box 6384
Deltona, FL 32728.
More about the Ted Rhodes Foundation Inc.:
The Ted Rhodes Foundation, Inc. (an IRS sanctioned 501(c)3 non-profit tax exempt public organization) was established to advance the mission of educating juniors as well as providing a competitive venue for amateurs and professionals to play golf.
Theodore “Ted” Rhodes (November 9, 1913 – July 4, 1969) was an African-American professional golfer.
In the late 1940s, Rhodes moved to southern California where he was mentored by Ray Mangrum. In 1948, he played in the U.S. Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, California and became recognized as the first African-American professional golfer.
Ted Rhodes and fellow African-American golfer Bill Spiller initiated litigation against the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) seeking removal of the association’s “Caucasian only clause”.
Although they prevailed in the out-of-court settlement, the PGA circumvented the agreement by changing its tournaments to “invitationals” and invited only whites to participate.
Ted Rhodes played mostly in United Golf Association sanctioned tournaments during his career, winning about 150 times. Ted Rhodes returned to his native Nashville in the 1960s and mentored several black PGA players including Lee Elder and Charlie Sifford. He died at the age of 55. A month after his death, the Cumberland Golf Course in Nashville was renamed in his honor.
Ted Rhodes is also one of the greats Tiger Woods always mentions when he talks about the rich history of African Americans in golf. He is an inductee of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, African-American Golfers Hall of Fame, and the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2009, the PGA of America granted posthumous membership to Ted Rhodes at a special ceremony.
For the past 44 years the Ted Rhodes Foundation, Inc. sponsors the Ted Rhodes Golf Classic which assist us in raising funds for partnerships such as this. Our web site is: www.tedrhodes.com
More about The Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development and PGA Professional Brendon Elliott:
Since July of 2008, the Little Linksters Golf program has brought the game of golf to a typically non- traditional sect of the golfing population; the “Pee-Wee” Golfer (Ages 3-8). The Little Linksters Golf Program is a great introduction to the game of golf for all children in this age group. The program is taught in a fun and interactive way using a combination of both traditional golf instruction methods and very non-traditional ways. The bottom line with the Little Linksters program is FUN!
The program is run by PGA Golf Professional Brendon Elliott. Brendon was the former General Manager/Head Golf Professional at the historic Winter Park Country Club which is located in downtown Winter Park, FL. Elliott was with WPCC for 13 years. He resigned from his position in July of 2011 to focus solely on the expansion of Little Linksters. Brendon, along with his wife Melisa are the owners of Little Linksters, LLC and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development which is their 501c3 Non-Profit organization. The home office of the company is in Deltona, FL.
In August of 2011, in a second phase of expansion, the Little Linksters Golf Academy @ Metrowest Golf Club located in Orlando, FL was opened. The Academy was later moved to Wekiva Golf Club in Longwood, FL in September of 2013 in order to fall in line with Elliott’s new position at the Golf Academy of America campus in Apopka, FL.
The Little Linksters “mobile” program which is ran by the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, has been in play at various daycare centers, schools, golf courses and municipalities throughout Central Florida since July of 2008. Since then, the expansion of the program has continuously been in the works. In early 2010 Little Linksters re-branded, created an easy to follow program guide/coloring book, registered and protected the name “Little Linksters” and started planning for an eventual “National Program.” The time frame to launch the “National Program” will be sometime in late 2014 or early 2015.
The two parts of the “Little Linksters” business entities include Little Linksters, LLC (for profit) and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development (501c3).
Little Linksters LLC oversees the following:
• The Little Linksters Golf Academy at Wekiva Golf Club (Private Lessons)
• In-Home lessons
• Online Instruction
• Sales of the Little Linksters Coloring Book
Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development (501c3) oversees the following:
• The Little Linksters “Mobile” Program (At locations throughout Central FL)
• The NEW Little Linksters G.O.A.L.S. Program (For children with special needs)
• The Little Linksters “Tour” Series
• The Best Pee Wee Swing in the World Video Contest
• Soon to launch “National Certification Program”
• Speaking on and Promoting Junior Golf for younger kids
The goal of Little Linksters, LLC and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development is to provide children ages three years to eight years of age with quality introductory golf instruction and to expose them to all of the wonderful life lessons that the wonderful game of golf teaches everyone. Although Little Linksters target group is children ages three through eight, the company does not limit itself solely to those age groups. Additionally, Little Linksters strives to be a leader in the “Pee-Wee” golf arena and aims to provide tools and information to all PGA Professionals, educators, parents and now, Golf Academy of America students that share in their vision.
PGA Professional Brendon Elliott:
Elliott has been named a 2010, 2011 & 2012 US Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher, a 2013 US Kids Golf Master Kids Teacher, a 2012 and 2013 Top 50 Growth of the Game Instructor as named by the Golf Range Association of America, the 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 ECC Junior Golf Leader, the 2014 ECC Horton Smith Award winner and the 2011, 2012 & 2013 NFPGA Junior Golf Leader award winner. He was also a finalist for the PGA’s National Junior Leader award in 2012 and 2013.
Little Linksters was also named the 2013 ING Player Development Award winner in January of 2014 at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
Brendon has appeared in or been a contributor for numerous golf media articles with publications such as Golf Business magazine and PGA Magazine. His contributions have included topics ranging from Social Media to Junior Golf. He was a guest on the Golf Channels Morning Drive in April of 2013 along with Dottie Pepper and Alan Wronowski. The threesome spoke on many different junior golf initiatives that are available to children of all ages. You can see a clip of my appearance here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUaLx2p7tO8
Elliott has become a sought out speaker on Junior Golf with a focus on children ages 8 and under. He spoke at the 2012 Proponent Group Annual Conference in October of 2012 which was held at Cog Hill Golf Club near Chicago. The event was held in conjunction with the 2012 Ryder Cup. Elliott spoke at the 2013 Southeastern Junior Golf Summit at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta on November 4, 2013. Recently, Elliott joined 2013 PGA & LPGA Junior Golf Leader award winner Nicole Weller as a presenter at the 2014 PGA Youth & Family Golf Summit held during the week of the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL.
Elliott is the President of the East Central Chapter of the NFPGA Section. He is a NFPGA Section Board member, the Chairman of the ECC Junior Golf Committee as well as the NFPGA Junior Golf Committee and a member of the PGA of America’s 2012-2014 National Youth Player Development Committee and the 2012-2014 Public Relations & Communications Committee.
# # #
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Brendon R. Elliott, PGA at Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development (501c3) or email at nonprofit@LittleLinksters.com.
Contact Brendon R. Elliott, PGA
Telephone Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development (501c3)