Creative Loafing ~ Charlotte NC
The cost of equipment, proper coaching, and access has become increasingly expensive and unaffordable to many. Harold Varner III officially launched the HV3 Foundation in an effort to give back to less fortunate kids that could greatly benefit from increased access and opportunity in sports.
“My vision for the HV3 Foundation is to bring awareness to the rising cost of entry fees and access in sports. The foundation will aim to provide financial assistance for equipment, after school programs, instruction, camps, and various other avenues where an athlete can cultivate his/her passion” says Harold.
Harold, a 29-year-old PGA golfer, grew up in Gastonia North Carolina, and like many athletes faced financial challenges first hand. Golf is a sport that many grow up playing at a local country club and is widely known for being expensive and exclusive. Harold, resourceful and determined to play, tapped into a youth program at his local municipal golf course that allowed him to play unlimited golf for $100 for the entire summer.
“That $100 was not easy to come by, but was worth scraping together due to the access it offered.”
Unfortunately, this program no longer exists. In fact, Harold says that affordable access opportunities are the exception, not only in golf but across sports in general.
“People talk about growing the game of golf and I truly believe that affordable access is the biggest obstacles for young players to overcome. I am certain if I did not have the junior program at Gastonia Municipal, I wouldn’t be playing a sport I love on the PGA Tour."
n February, the HV3 Foundation announced the first ever HV3 Invitational Presented by McMahan Financial. The tournament consisted of 12 area high school teams competing in a 36 hole match at Cramer Mountain Club in Cramerton, North Carolina. The event was a huge success and Wilson Golf even provided the top three teams with new gear. Harold later hosted the HV3 Invitational Champs at the Wells Fargo Championship, a PGA Tour event located at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.
In May, the HV3 Foundation announced a partnership with Carolinas Golf Foundation to Grow the Game. Through contributions made by the HV3 Foundation, the Youth on Course Carolinas program will be able to subsidize over 1,000 rounds of golf for junior golfers in the Carolinas. The HV3 Foundation announced it will also fund the CGA entry fee assistance program. This program provides free entry for junior golfers without the financial means to play in Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) and Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA) events. HV3 Foundation extended this partnership for the next 3 years. The program allows youth golfers to play golf for $5.
Harold’s efforts do not stop at golf. In June, the Foundation announced their support for the Gastonia Post 23 Junior Legion Baseball Team.
This team consists of a handful of kids from the Gastonia area coming together to represent 4 different high schools. The home games are played at Forestview High School which Harold attended. Most importantly, the HV3 Foundation was able to cover each player's financial commitments for the entire season so they can go out and enjoy the game they love.
HV3 Foundation partnered with ECU Men’s and Women’s Golf teams to help present the 2019 Pirate Cup. The Foundation raised money, generated sponsorships, and contributed abundant auction items for the event.
Next year, the HV3 Foundation Junior All-Star Golf Classic will take place June 22-25th in Winston Salem at Tanglewood Golf Club giving an opportunity for young athletes to take their game to the next level.
The HV3 Foundation has made monumental strides in just nine months. Harold invites you to join him on this journey to give back. Get involved and learn more at www.hv3foundation.com
Back in the spring, the Drew Charter men’s golf team from Atlanta won the Class A Public State Championship in golf, lapping their competition to take home the trophy.
Their win was especially notable for two reason. First, they are the first Atlanta Public School to capture the state title. Second, they’re the first all-black team and coaching staff to earn top honors in the state of Georgia.
Now, a PGA Tour veteran who took notice of their triumph is jumping in to support their continued success. On Tuesday, Harold Varner III tweeted to congratulate the team and call attention to their accomplishment. In addition, Varner announced a donation of $5,000 to the school’s golf program.
“Congratulations to Drew Charter on winning their Georgia HS State Championship,” Varner wrote on Twitter. “These guys were the first All Black Golf Team to win a high school golf state championship. With that said, I would like to announce that the HV3 Foundation will be donating $5k to their program.”
The donation was made by Varner’s HV3 Foundation. According to the official website, Varner started the foundation ” in an effort to give back to less fortunate kids that could greatly benefit from increased access and opportunity in sport.” The foundation aims to “bring awareness to the rising cost of entry and access in sports,” by providing “financial assistance for equipment, after school programs, instruction, camps, and various other avenues where an athlete can cultivate his/her passion.”
He couldn’t have found a better group to support than the student-athletes on the Drew Charter golf team. To win the state title, Drew Charter defeated the two-time defending champions by an incredible 15 strokes.
The team is led by former pro golfer Nyre Williams. Williams is also the director of the The First Tee of East Lake Foundation, which is where all the players got their start in the game.
Nyre told Blavity.com that the most important part of his job is “the capacity to teach these men things they wouldn’t have an opportunity to learn outside of the game. This platform has allowed them to recognize their worth and aspire to goals they wouldn’t have otherwise thought of accomplishing.”
Entry Fee Assistance Program provides assistance to junior golfers with limited financial means
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (May 1, 2019) -- The Carolinas Golf Foundation is excited to announce a partnership with the HV3 foundation to make game-changing contributions to junior golf in the Carolinas.
Through contributions made by the HV3 Foundation, the Youth on Course Carolinas program will be able to subsidize over 1,000 rounds of golf for junior golfers in the Carolinas.
“I just know when I was growing up, I didn’t have much but I had a lot of accessibility,” said Harold Varner III, PGA TOUR golfer and founder of the HV3 Foundation. “Youth on Course is a great avenue to grow the game because they are giving access to junior golfers to courses they wouldn’t be able to play otherwise. I’m so pumped to be a part of this initiative along with the Carolinas Golf Association. It’s good to know that there are people out there working to grow the game the right way.”
The HV3 Foundation will also fund the CGA’ entry fee assistance program. This program provides free entry for junior golfers without the financial means to play in Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) and Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA) events.
“It’s great to see Harold give back to those that are in a similar situation to where he was growing up,” said Jason Cox, Director of Youth Development at the Carolinas Golf Association. “Harold could not compete in a lot of junior events due to financial restrictions and the CGA saw a need for a program to help junior’s like Harold. We created our program to help Harold and now he is ensuring all juniors have the same competitive opportunities he had through the CGA and TYGA.”
About the Carolinas Golf Foundation
The Carolinas Golf Foundation (CGF) was formed by the Carolinas Golf Association in 1977 to provide support for a variety of Carolinas-based golf initiatives. The Carolinas Golf Association and the Carolinas Golf Foundation are both 501(c)3 non-profit educational organizations. The Carolinas Golf Foundation has provided more than $1,500,000 over the last 37 years for various projects and scholarships.
Through Youth on Course, the Carolinas Golf Foundation allows kids across North and South Carolina to play golf for just $5 per round. And that’s just one of the many ways we’re passing the game on to the next generation. The CGF supports women’s golf, disabled golfers, college scholarships, turfgrass research and the historic Hall of History that captures and displays the rich golf tradition of the Carolinas.
About the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA)
The CGA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization that was founded in 1909 to promote and to protect the game of golf in the Carolinas by providing competitions, education, support and benefits to golf clubs and golfers. The CGA is the second largest golf association in the country with over 700 member clubs represented by nearly 150,000 individuals.
The CGA annually conducts 48 championships and five team match competitions for men, women, juniors, and seniors. It also runs over 150 One-Day (net and gross) events as well as qualifying for USGA national championships. The CGA serves golf in the Carolinas with numerous programs such as: the USGA Handicap System; tournament management software and support; course measuring and course/slope ratings; agronomy consultation; answers about the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, and handicapping; Carolinas Golf Magazine; Interclub series; Tarheel Youth Golf Association; Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame; expense assistance for USGA Junior and Girls' Junior qualifiers from the Carolinas; and the Carolinas Golf Foundation (CGF). The CGF has distributed nearly $2,000,000 since 1977 to benefit Carolinas' golf initiatives including junior and women's programs.
For more information about the CGA, visit our website.
About Youth on Course
The core purpose of Youth on Course is to provide youth with access to life-changing opportunities through golf. Members play hundreds of courses for $5 or less, benefit from employment through the caddie and internship program, and receive college scholarships. Headquartered in Pebble Beach, Youth on Course is a 501(c)3 organization that began as the charitable arm of the Northern California Golf Association. Since 2006, nearly 650,000 rounds have been played by Youth on Course participants and more than $1.4 million has been raised for college scholarships. Currently, Youth on Course serves Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin with the goal of delivering affordable golf in all 50 states by 2021.