Charles Howell III takes action to support minority mini-tour

As Charles Howell III traveled the country to events in what is his 20th season as a member of the PGA Tour, he reflected on all that the game has given him and concluded it was time to give back.

And then on May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest, and Howell zeroed in on a cause he could get behind. Howell, a three-time PGA Tour winner, pledged to make performance-based cash donations to the APGA Tour, a 10-year-old mini-tour for minority players, and its affiliated Advocates Foundation, through an initiative named #CharlesHowell4APGATour.

“Given the current situation in our country, I thought it would be really neat to do something via the game of golf,” Howell said. “It’s been my life since I was 7 years old. There’s a way here to help other golfers to reach their dreams and goals. I thought the Advocates Tour was a really good fit.”

But that’s only half the story. Howell is the first to admit that he’d never heard of the Advocates Tour until he was paired with one of its founders, Ken Bentley, during the pro-am a couple of years ago at the Farmers Insurance Open. It turns out that Howell’s caddie, Nick Jones, who played collegiately at USC, had competed in three APGA events, including a playoff loss, and knew Bentley, a retired Nestle executive, who made a lasting impression on Howell that day. On June 24, Howell left a voicemail for Bentley, saying he’d like to talk to him about how he could be part of the APGA’s effort to create more opportunities for minorities within the game of golf.

“It was a shock, a pleasant shock. He called out of the blue and said he wanted to help. He was feeling like he had to do something to make the world a better place, and being a golfer he felt like what he wanted to do should involve golf. He did some research and he wanted to be a part of it,” Bentley said.

The Advocates Pro Golf Association’s mission is to bring greater diversity to the sport by developing African Americans and other minorities for a variety of careers in golf. This grassroots effort began as 20-30 friends organizing three events in its first year has blossomed to eight events this year with $250,000 in prize money, including its first 72-hole tournament. Bentley said he expects to grow to 12 tournaments next year.

Howell committed to donate $50 for every birdie he makes and $100 for every eagle, but his involvement will extend far beyond monetary concerns to something far more valuable – his time.

“He wants to talk to the players and play with the guys. He really wants to make a difference. It adds another layer to guys understanding what it takes to get to the PGA Tour and stay on Tour,” Bentley said.

Initially, Howell didn’t want to bring attention to his good deed. It took some coaxing from Bentley, who explained, “if we tell

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By: Adam Schupak
Title: Charles Howell III takes action to support minority mini-tour
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Published Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2020 15:44:47 +0000

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