The PGA Tour and PGA of America released statements on Saturday related to Georgia’s controversial new voting regulation laws.
East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta hosts the season-ending Tour Championship. The Masters Tournament is contested next week in Augusta, Georgia, but that event is run by Augusta National Golf Club, not the Tour.
The PGA Tour said it would not remove the Tour Championship from the state, citing its financial commitment to charity and the local community. It added, “Our intention to stage an event in a particular market should not be construed as indifference to the current national conversation around voting rights.” The Tour also plays the RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia in the fall.
Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it was removing the All-Star Game from Atlanta this summer, in relation to Georgia’s voting changes.
Full PGA Tour statement:
At the heart of the PGA Tour’s charitable mission is a commitment to serving and supporting communities where we play, across the country and around the world. In Georgia, this commitment has resulted in more than $38 million generated for local charitable organizations since the Tour Championship – our season-ending event – moved to Atlanta in 1998. The Tour Championship’s commitment to East Lake has helped our partners transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and thriving ones, which is a key to ending the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
The charitable and economic benefits that have led to these substantial changes would not continue if we simply walked away from those in need. We intend to maintain our commitment to the East Lake Foundation, Grove Park Foundation, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta and First Tee of Metro Atlanta by staging the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club in September. We love these partners, and we will work with them to continue to deliver much-needed support and influence positive change.
Our intention to stage an event in a particular market should not be construed as indifference to the current national conversation around voting rights. The PGA Tour fully supports efforts to protect the right of all Americans to vote and to eliminate any barriers that may prevent citizens’ voices from being heard and counted. It is the foundation of our great country and a critical national priority to listen to the concerns about voter suppression – especially from communities of color that have been marginalized in the past – and work together to make voting easier for all citizens.
The PGA of America will contest the KPMG Women’s PGA at Atlanta Athletic Club, June 24-27. It said it will be “monitoring developments.”
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is a partnership between three organizations committed to diversity, equity and inclusion: PGA of America, LPGA and KPMG. Like many entities, we are monitoring developments related to the new state legislation on voting access. We believe elections should be accessible, fair and secure, and support broad voter participation.