We traditionally set aside a day in late November to give thanks. But a more recent celebration has taken hold that doesn’t involve football, turkey, or parades.

November 15 has been recognized as National Philanthropy Day ever since President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation in 1986. It’s a day to celebrate private individuals and entities who donate time and/or money to causes near and dear to their hearts.

For many of us, golf is that special cause — a game that has enhanceed our lives in various ways. And the GAM Foundation is especially thankful for the generous donors who have enabled us to help make golf accessible to the broadest possible audience of Michigan’s residents. Building the next generation of golfers by providing youth access to affordable golf is at the core of that mission.

This year, our Youth on Course initiative was a huge success. The number of Michigan participants jumped to more than 4,500 young golfers, up more than 70 percent this year compared to 2017. And we’re making plans to increase participation even more in 2019.

Youth on Course and other “grow the game” initiatives such The First Tee and PGA Junior Leagues work hand-in-hand. Once youth get started in golf and learn its basic skills and core values, Youth on Course picks up from there, giving junior golfers ages 6-18 access to affordable golf. Those who register for the program for just $5 get access to participating courses where they can play for $5 or less per round.

Happily, we’re victims of our own success. The number of participating courses increased almost 50 percent — nearly 100 facilities in Michigan now offer young golfers an opportunity to play a round of golf for $5 or less. It’s a win-win: The youth get affordable golf, and the Foundation compensates the participating golf courses. But we need your help to keep up with the demand!

As we increase our efforts to grow the game, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the 501 (c) (3) GAM Foundation Inc. Donations may be made via the GAM web site at or by check made out to GAM Foundation Inc. and mailed to:

24116 Research Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48335.

Donors of $60 and above will receive a special golf gift.