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RJ exclusive: Steph Curry opening doors for junior golfers

Updated August 2, 2022 - 10:11 am

Don’t think Steph Curry is sitting around during the NBA offseason admiring his fourth championship ring. At least not all of the time.

The offseason gives the Golden State Warriors guard a chance to pursue his other sports passion, golf, and it’s something he wants to bring to young athletes through his Underrated Tour.

Launched earlier this summer, Curry’s group has held regional stops in Chicago and Phoenix. The tournaments are designed for underserved golfers who have the talent but don’t have the funds or access to junior golf tours.

“There’s so much talent in the youth golf world,” Curry told the Review-Journal. “Some is unheralded. Some just need an opportunity to be on a platform and a stage to showcase their skills.”

The program’s mission is to increase the participation numbers among competitive golfers from diverse communities and have them play with their peers. These players, Curry said, represent the vast majority of today’s golfers. It also helps to open doors that golf brings both on and off the course.

“We’re thinking big about this,” he said. “We have five stops this year and hope to build that to a bigger field next year, both boys and girls. Equity access and opportunity is important to us, bringing these kids to amazing venues and giving them a first-class experience.”

And bigger to Curry doesn’t just mean the United States. He’s thinking international as well for his program, which charges nothing to the players or their families who are accepted into each event.

“We want to be able to provide a platform for kids to pursue the highest levels of golf all while giving them the toolkit to be successful in life, and I think we’re off to an amazing start,” he said. “There’s been a lot of great feedback, and I think the kids are having a great time.”

That feedback includes what the participants need to get to the next level in their games and in their lives. That, Curry said, is the most important aspect of the program.

“Golf is such an amazing sport because it’s a conduit to developing true life and work skills that they can carry for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Curry is not ignoring his other job. While the golf program is new, the basketball version is now in its fourth season, including a stop this week in Las Vegas for a two-day camp.

Whether expansion of the golf program includes Las Vegas next year remains to be seen, but Curry wants to reach as many communities as he can.

“We want to continue that momentum domestically in the states, Europe, Asia, around the globe, so we can reach as many kids as possible,” he said. “So I like the start we’re off to. We’re literally just getting started. Literally like the first or second hole, if you like that terminology.”

Chip shots

* Tickets are on sale for one of the year’s biggest local golf events, the Lake Las Vegas Classic. The two-day event Oct.7-8 includes a double shotgun scramble tournament at Reflection Bay, live music, a silent auction, drinks from local breweries and wineries and cuisine prepared by chefs from 12 area restaurants. Information is available at www.lakelasvegasclassic.com.

* The SNGA and Las Vegas National are hosting a hall of fame day on Aug. 24 with proceeds to benefit the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame. Tee times are available all day at $60 for a single or $200 for a foursome. Tee times are available at www.lasvegasgolfhof.com.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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