Midnight Golf Program Selected for PGA of America Places To Play Donation

April 22, 2024



PGA of America REACH Foundation to donate $250,000 to renovate new home of Midnight Golf in Detroit

Editors: For Photos of the Midnight Golf Program and renovation designs, click here.

FRISCO, Texas and DETROIT (April 22, 2024) - The PGA of America announced today that the PGA of America REACH Foundation, the charitable foundation of the Association, will donate $250,000 to Detroit’s Midnight Golf Program through the Community-Based Grant initiative of PGA Places To Play.

The charitable donation will aid in the renovation of a 30,000-square-foot building, developing a golf instruction area within the soon-to-be home of the Midnight Golf Program in midtown Detroit. This new facility will provide a permanent location for the program, which has previously been located in various venues throughout Detroit. Construction of the building is estimated to be completed October 1, 2024.

Midnight Golf, founded by Reneé Fluker in 2001, is a 30-week program that helps 250 high school seniors a year make the transition from high school to, and through, college. The program focuses on life-skills training, proactive coaching, long-term mentoring and the discipline of golf in order to succeed in college, their careers and beyond.

Since 2001, nearly 4,000 Midnight Golf Program participants have been admitted to more than 140 colleges and universities across the United States. Participants boast a 70% college graduation rate, four times that of Detroit students without support.

“The impact Reneé and her team have had on the lives of young adults in Detroit is hugely inspiring. We are heartened by the fact that she has chosen golf as the vehicle to teach lifelong lessons and light the pathway towards bright futures,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “We are incredibly proud to play a small part in the future success of Midnight Golf as the program encompasses all of the best aspects that we love about this game.

"I am incredibly grateful to the PGA of America REACH Foundation for their generous support of the Midnight Golf Program,” said Reneé Fluker, Midnight Golf Program Founder and President. “This contribution marks a significant milestone in our journey to provide transformative opportunities for young people throughout Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan. With this investment, we are poised to create a lasting impact in our community, empowering our participants to reach their fullest potential."

The Michigan PGA Section, one of the Association’s 41 Sections, has been involved with Midnight Golf since its inception. In addition to providing financial support, a group of PGA of America Golf Professionals from the Section teach the golf instruction portion of the program every week.

"The Michigan PGA is very proud of our long-standing involvement with the Midnight Golf Program," said Michigan Section PGA Executive Director Kevin Helm. "Everyone involved in the program from Reneé Fluker, to the mentors, board of directors, PGA of America Coaches, and staff has an incredible passion for helping young men and women in the city of Detroit. It has been rewarding to see the program grow to where it is today without sacrificing at all the quality of the program and the incredible results. The program is truly a life-changing experience for each participant. Thank you to the PGA of America REACH Foundation for this incredible gift that will help create a permanent home where the program will continue its great work for many years to come."

In its mission to impact lives through the game of golf, the PGA of America REACH Foundation is committed to ensuring golf becomes more accessible. PGA Places To Play creates new opportunities to support facilities and sustain affordable access to the game for people of all backgrounds and abilities.

PGA Places To Play is supported by a $14 million endowment fund of charitable contributions to the Foundation’s DRIVE IT FURTHER Capital Campaign, annually providing three grants of $250,000 per facility.

Three facility categories are available for consideration:

  • PGA of America Spectator Championship legacy Project Model: A facility within the market of a PGA of America spectator championship such as the PGA Championship, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and a domestic Ryder Cup.
  • Community-Based Innovation Model: Innovative facilities and concepts that open doors to underserved communities in the game through elements aligned with PGA of America REACH Foundation’s charitable mission.
  • 9 or 18+ Hole Failing Public Facility: Facilities that are operated by a local charitable organization or a municipality in danger of being replaced by a “better alternative use.”

Midnight Golf is the sixth recipient awarded through the Places To Play program. Previous facilities are Genesee Valley Golf Course in Monroe County, New York; Inspiration Golf Range in Springfield Township, New Jersey; Clearview Legacy Foundation in East Canton, Ohio; Page Belcher & Mohawk Golf Courses in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and City Swing Golf Truck in Washington D.C.

Places To Play is one of four pillars within the PGA of America REACH Foundation, joining PGA Jr. League, PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) and PGA WORKS.

About Places To Play

PGA Places To Play creates opportunities to support golf facilities and sustain affordable access to the game for people of all backgrounds and abilities through seed grants from the PGA of America REACH Foundation. Funding for PGA Places To Play comes from donors across America who believe wealth shouldn’t be a barrier to the game of golf. The program creates access through community-based initiatives and PGA of America championship markets while supplementing the local expertise provided by PGA of America Golf Professionals and national programs like PGA Jr. League, PGA HOPE and PGA WORKS. For more information, visit PGAREACH.org/access.

About Midnight Golf

The Midnight Golf Program was founded in 2001 by Reneé Fluker, a social worker and single mother who noticed the impact golf had on her son’s life. Today, the program annually serves 1,500 college students and early career professionals as well as 250 new high school seniors who participate in a 30-week curriculum to learn the game of golf, build relationships with mentors and develop life skills. Midnight Golf helps seniors enter college and continues mentoring throughout college and into the graduates’ professional careers. For more information, visit www.midnightgolf.org.

About PGA of America REACH Foundation

The PGA of America REACH Foundation is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The mission of the Foundation is to positively impact the lives of youth, military and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA of America Golf Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf. For more information on the PGA of America REACH Foundation, visit PGAREACH.org, follow @PGAREACH on Instagram, X, formerly known as Twitter and find us on Facebook.Media Contacts

Jesse Dodson, PGA of America, jdodson@pgahq.com

Clover McFadden, Midnight Golf Program, cmcfadden@midnightgolf.org