FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 4, 2021) — The Board of Directors of San Francisco Pride are pleased to announce that global sports entertainment company Topgolf and multinational financial-services corporation Mastercard Inc. have signed on to sponsor Pride’s Third Annual Golf Tournament and Fundraiser, to be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9, 2021, at San Francisco’s famed TPC Harding Park. Additionally, Newfront Insurance will generously underwrite Friday evening’s Pride Golf Award Reception.
The event, a major fundraiser for San Francisco Pride, harnesses the organization’s 51-year commitment to LGBTQ+ liberation and social justice to create greater visibility and inclusion in professional athletics, too-often perceived as an area of American cultural life with scant LGBTQ+ representation.
Registration has already closed for this Pro-Am tournament, which for its 2021 iteration pairs amateur golfers with professional players in a scramble-style format. As in years past, SF Pride has opted to partner with First Tee of San Francisco, a youth development nonprofit designed to diversify the world of golf, particularly among younger generations.
"One thing we've learned is certain is that Pride is more than just a weekend," said Fred Lopez, Executive Director of San Francisco Pride. "The SF Pride Golf Tournament is a great example of innovative ways of bringing visibility to our communities. Topgolf and Mastercard are valued partners in this work, and should be applauded for helping to bring larger LGBTQ+ representation in professional sports."
As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of so many large-scale outdoor events for nearly two years — SF Pride’s famed Parade and Celebration among them — the organization has made enormous efforts to broaden its reach with new programming throughout the calendar year. With some 150 players, the 2020 Golf Tournament and Fundraiser generated $35,000 and helped sustain SF Pride’s Community Partners Program, which allows the organization to continue its long tradition of generous financial support to nonprofits that serve distinct segments of the Bay Area’s diverse LGBTQ+ communities.
This year, notable LGBTQ+ professional golfers such as Tadd Fujikawa (the first male professional golfer to come out as gay, as well as the youngest player ever to qualify for the U.S. Open), Hailey Davidson (the first trans woman to win a professional golf tournament), and Greg Fitzgerald are all expected to attend in person.
“This tournament is a major fundraiser for SF Pride, and previous years have been nothing short of magical,” says Suzanne Ford, Vice President of SF Pride’s Board of Directors and an avid golfer. “No one ever leaves TPC Harding Park without having a wonderful experience.”
Considered one of the finest municipal courses in the U.S., it was also the home of the esteemed 2020 PGA Championship. Additionally, sponsorship from Mastercard and Topgolf — a high-tech golf complex with a world-class food-and-beverage program which recently opened its first Bay Area location — further elevates the profile of SF Pride’s tournament and fundraiser, including the potent symbolism of breaking barriers toward greater equity at professional sports’ most elite levels.
Tournament organizers will further amplify the importance of LGBTQ+ voices within professional sports at the first-ever Pride Golf Award Reception, sponsored by Newfront Insurance. Held on Friday, Oct. 8 at Beaux, an LGBTQ+ venue in San Francisco’s Castro District, its centerpiece is the inaugural SF Pride Leadership in Golf award, bestowed to a recipient who has expanded LGBTQ+ representation in the world of professional golf.
Separately, SF Pride will honor the late Ken Jones, an iconic activist and one-time Board President, with an awards ceremony in his name on Thursday, Oct. 14. Held at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel's Cityscape Bar & Lounge, it will recognize the contributions of a new generation of leaders to the Bay Area's LGBTQ+ communities.
Media representatives are warmly welcome to attend both the golf tournament itself and the reception at Beaux. Contact Peter-Astrid Kane or Greg Fitzgerald for details or to arrange an interview.