Expanding Access to Golf in South Los Angeles

L.A. County’s Maggie Hathaway Golf Course getting up to $15 Million from U.S. Open Community Legacy Project to expand access to the sport in South L.A.

3 minute read

June 8, 2023, 11:00 AM PDT

By clementkhlau

Small white one-story building with Maggie Hathaway Golf Course sign with American flag on flagpole and green lawn

Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation / Maggie Hathaway Golf Course in Los Angeles, California

In June 2023, Los Angeles will host the U.S. Open Golf Championship for the first time in 75 years. To commemorate this important event, the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) in collaboration with the U.S. Golf Association and the 2023 U.S. Open host site, the Los Angeles Country Club, launched the FORE Youth: 2023 U.S. Open Community Legacy Project as a commitment to expand golf access to underserved and underrepresented youth in Los Angeles. The campaign aims to raise funds to expand youth programming and to make a significant investment in the infrastructure needed to expand access to the sport.

The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has a strong commitment to diversify and grow the sport of golf, especially among communities of high need, youth of color, and women and girls. DPR’s commitment has been demonstrated through their work to launch their first competitive golf sports program for middle-school youth and their free Golf in the Park program. DPR has also had a long-standing partnership with SCGA to provide youth with golf programs at County golf courses, including the Maggie Hathaway Golf Course, located in South Los Angeles, which has been selected as the site for the Legacy Project.

In the racially segregated Los Angeles of the 1950s, the course’s namesake Maggie Mae Hathaway was a widely admired African American sports columnist for the Black-owned Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper. In this role, she became a tireless local advocate for desegregating the game of golf and expanding access to golf for the Black community at a time when opportunities did not exist for people of color to participate in the game. In 1997, Jack Thompson Golf Course, where she had served as the director in the 1970s, was renamed the Maggie Hathaway Golf Course in her honor before her passing in 2001 at the age of 90. First opened in 1962, Maggie Hathaway is a 9-hole, 1,008-yard, Par-3 golf course that occupies a 16-acre site and shares parking with the neighboring Jesse Owens Community Regional Park. The site includes a small, 1,200-square-foot office building and 450-square foot concession stand and a driving range.

The Legacy Project will include capital improvements that support Maggie Hathaway as a place to learn the game of golf. The purpose of the proposed work is to improve the golf learning experience. The Legacy Project is anticipated to include a new practice pitching area and putting green, reconfiguration and renovation of the driving range, restoration of existing buildings and outdoor spaces, and other related improvements. Fore Youth Golf Foundation will donate an initial amount of about $7 million to the County with the option to increase the donation amount to a total of $15 million during the term of the agreement for the Legacy Project.

Sunday, June 4, 2023 in Los Angeles Times

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