Oakville, Ont. (Golf Canada) – Golf Canada and Acura have announced a three-year extension and expansion of their partnership in which Acura will become the Presenting Sponsor and Official Vehicle of Future Links – Canada’s national junior golf program.
Future Links, driven by Acura, is a joint grassroots initiative of Golf Canada, the PGA of Canada and the provincial golf associations which offers a full suite of junior golf programs for boys and girls ages 6 to 18—from beginners to those with more experience or greater playing ability.
For Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer and interim CEO Jeff Thompson, Acura’s enhanced support of Canada’s national junior golf program will help to deliver quality golf experiences to youth from coast to coast.
“Acura has been a tremendous partner since aligning their respected brand with Canada’s national junior golf program in 2014 and we are thrilled with their deepened commitment to Future Links, driven by Acura,” said Thompson. “With world-class junior golf curriculum that is internationally revered by golf federations around the world, we are proud that Acura will continue to drive the program’s success moving forward.”
Future Links, driven by Acura includes a comprehensive suite of junior golf activities for children of all ages and skill level. The program has been restructured under three core areas of focus—in-school programming, facility programming and community outreach.
Elements under the Future Links junior golf umbrella include Learn to Play, Junior League, Girl’s Club, Mobile Clinics, Junior Skills Competition, and Community Golf Coach, along with six regional Future Links Junior Championships.
Beginning in 2017, Golf Canada has also integrated the popular Golf in Schools program under the Future Links suite of junior golf activities. With more than 400,000 children currently learning golf at nearly 3,400 schools (elementary, intermediate and high schools) as part of the Canadian Physical Education curriculum, Future Links, driven by Acura is supporting quality junior golf experiences from in-schools to on-course at clubs across Canada.
“Acura is committed to supporting various youth initiatives across Canada and we are delighted to expand our commitment to Golf Canada and their respected programs, as this partnership is a natural alignment of the two brands,” said Dave Gardner, Senior Vice President of Operations, Acura, a division of Honda Canada Inc. “With luxury comfort, dynamic performance and a versatile passenger and cargo cabin, the Acura MDX luxury SUV will help drive the future success of the Mobile Clinics across Canada.”
As the official vehicle of Canada’s national junior golf program, Acura will also provide each of the 10 provincial golf associations with the current model year MDX vehicle—decaled in Future Links, driven by Acura branding—to deliver Mobile Clinics across Canada.
Each fully equipped vehicle will be staffed with a PGA of Canada professional travelling to locations across each province to teach juniors golf introductory lessons. Future Links, driven by Acura Mobile Clinics will bring golf to children at almost any location including parks, recreation centres, schools and golf facilities.
Under the leadership of PGA of Canada golf professionals, Future Links driven by Acura programs help young golfers develop the technical skills, appropriate attitude and self-confidence to succeed on the golf course, while instilling positive life lessons to succeed off the course.
“This is an exciting extension and expansion for the Future Links brand,” said PGA of Canada CEO Gary Bernard. “Since the program’s inception in 1996 the PGA of Canada and Golf Canada have seen more than 1-million kids go through Future Links and I feel this terrific initiative will only enhance the world-class junior golf program.”
In 2016, 85,000 junior golfers participated in one or more elements of Future Links, including 60,000 juniors who took part in more than 750 Future Links Mobile Clinics across the country.
Acura’s enhanced support for Future Links returns the junior golf program to solid footing after long-time partner Canadian National Railway (CN) stepped away following 11 years of sponsorship.
“Thanks to Acura, Canadian junior golf is well positioned for success moving forward for 2017 and beyond,” added Thompson. “Future Links has had the good fortune of strong supporting partners since its inception and that will surely continue going forward with Acura’s shared vision to support junior golf activities across Canada.”
Future Links, driven by Acura junior golf programming is fully aligned with the Canadian Golf Long-Term Player Development Guide. Developed by Golf Canada in partnership with the PGA of Canada, LTPD provides an age- and stage-based blueprint for golfer development rooted on research, statistics and expert insight.
Since launching in 1996, Canada’s national junior golf program has introduced golf to more than 1.3 million children, providing junior golfers across Canada with affordable and accessible golf activities in their community. More information is available at golfcanada.ca/futurelinks