Golden State Warriors three-time champion and two-time league MVP Stephen Curry has long advocated for the underserved, overlooked and those who lack access to opportunities that come easily to others from more fortunate socio-economic conditions.
While Curry is recognized as the greatest shooter in NBA history, he is also an avid golfer, so he knows how expensive the sport is and how its economic demands often eliminate talented golfers from getting an opportunity to turn pro.
Most of those golfers lacking the resources to pursue a pro career are minorities.
Therefore, Curry is starting his own golf tour. According to a press release, “The UNDERRATED Golf Tour, an AJGA-accredited junior tour, will hold five events this summer at popular PGA Tour courses all across America. The tour’s aim is to provide aspiring college golfers a more accessible path to their dreams.”
“Everybody knows I love the game of golf, and I couldn’t be more excited to extend this love to the best young players around the country,” Curry said in a video released Thursday. “Less than 2% of golfers are people of color, and our Tour provides a platform of equity, access and opportunity for girls and boys who want to play and compete with the current best players on the AJGA.”
It's been in the works for years.@StephenCurry30's new golf tour will feature:
➖ Elite PGA Tour venues
➖ Conclusion in Bay Area
➖ "A platform for equity, access, and opportunity for those who can't get their big break"
And it's all paid for. pic.twitter.com/NhYX4JtYzx
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) April 21, 2022
The Tour will be free of charge for players, including travel, entry fees, lodging and meals.
Curry Cup: Finding Diamonds In The Rough
Players will compete in the five events over the course of the entire season for a championship dubbed the Curry Cup.
This is similar to the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup where players compete for points in events over the course of the season, culminating in a championship.
The tour will debut at Cog Hill Golf Club in Chicago, June 21-23, with stops in Phoenix (Wickenburg Ranch), Houston (Golf Club of Houston) and Tampa (Innisbrook’s Copperhead) leading to the Tour Championship at TPC Harding Park, August 28-30. All five venues have hosted or are currently hosting PGA Tour tournaments.
The Underrated Tour will select each of the 24 best boys and girls who will compete for the Curry Cup. The tour plans to increase the size of the player pool in coming years.
“Our passion is rooted in statistics. Today there are only two Black men in the top 100 worldwide rankings and only one Black woman in the top 300,” Underrated Golf wrote on its website, adding, “Meanwhile, Tiger Woods, who is recognized as the most important golfer of all time, is of Thai, White, Black and Native American descent. Although his reign on the sport is celebrated, the number of professional golfers coming up in his shoes continues to be less and less.”
Evening The Links
Curry has already done a lot to help grow the game among underrepresented communities.
In 2019, Curry partnered with Howard University to launch and financially support the school’s first Division I golf program for a six-year period.
Despite the immense success and popularity of Tiger Woods, golf remains a bastion of whiteness, and the number of Black golfers continues to decline. Access to the sport is the biggest hurdle. It is extremely expensive to play and requires high level coaching countless amounts of hours on the course.
Curry’s tour will be great and will certainly help those underrepresented golfers already playing get an opportunity to advance their careers. Maybe after a number of cycles we will see one of the UNDERRATED Tour players on the PGA Tour.
Curry Going For Fourth Title
Curry and the Warriors are in the midst of a first round best-of-seven playoff series against the Denver Nuggets. The Warriors lead the series 3-0 and look to close things out in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon in Denver.
The two-time MVP is still coming off the bench for now in the playoffs, as he is on a minutes restriction since an ankle injury in mid-March caused him to miss the remainder of the season. Obviously starting or coming off the bench seems to have no effect on the team’s success thus far.