DALLAS — Topgolf is beyond excited to share that beginning in 2024, Topgolf will be an officially sanctioned event with Special Olympics, the first time a brand has become a medaled event. That means Special Olympics athletes can compete in Topgolf as an individual or with a team through Special Olympics Unified Sports, which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team for training and competition. Modern golf entertainment leader Topgolf is committed to making the game of golf more diverse, inclusive, and fun. With off-course golf participation at an all-time high, the partnership with Special Olympics was an easy “yes!” for Topgolf.
“We have a responsibility now more than ever to invite everyone into the game of golf, and our partnership with Special Olympics will help us further unleash the power of play and bring more joy to more people,” said Topgolf Chief Brand Officer Geoff Cottrill.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the local organizing committee for any Special Olympics event held across the U.S. or around the globe will have the option to include Topgolf as a global medaled event, potentially including the Special Olympics USA Games and World Games.
“I’ve been at Topgolf for 14 years, and this partnership will go down as one of the things I’m most proud of,” said Topgolf’s Director of Charitable Initiatives Tiffany Brush. “Topgolf is changing the traditional definition of ‘golfer,’ and to see Special Olympics athletes so enthusiastic about Topgolf is a clear example of how we’re making the game more inclusive and open for all.”
In fact, Topgolf’s very own Playmakers (aka Associates) may even be competing in upcoming Special Olympics events, as the company currently has 18 Playmakers who are also Special Olympics athletes.
Before the Games Begin
Topgolf isn’t waiting until the next National or World Games to begin the partnership. Beginning in May 2023, Topgolf will offer Special Olympics athletes and Unified Sports participants free practice sessions and exhibitions.
Beginning Sept. 15, 2023, Players who visit a Topgolf venue throughout the U.S. and the U.K. will have the opportunity to donate to Special Olympics as part of Topgolf’s “Season of Giving,” lasting through Oct. 31, 2023. Each venue aims to raise $10,000, with an overall goal of more than $500,000. On top of that, Topgolf locations in the U.S. and U.K. will hold “Days of Giving” on Oct. 26 and 27 as Special Olympics athletes visit Topgolf venues to support Playmakers and interact with Players.
In 2024, Topgolf will host the first Unified Fore Joy fundraising tournament at five U.S. venues, bringing together Special Olympics athletes, Unified partners, professional golfers, celebrities, and supporters. Topgolf is underwriting the tournament, which will raise a minimum of $500,000.
“A partnership with Topgolf will help Special Olympics demonstrate to the world how inclusive sport training and competition is a catalyst for inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities,” said Lou Lauria, Chief of Sport and Competition at Special Olympics. “Special Olympics and Topgolf are completely aligned on the belief in the unlimited power of sport. What starts on the playing field extends into classrooms, workplaces and communities.”