Nicklaus, DJ & Creamer Represent Tee It Forward


Golf legend Jack Nicklaus, PGA Tour professional Dustin Johnson and 2010 U.S. Women's Open champion Paula Creamer will return to serve as spokespersons for Tee It Forward, a joint PGA of America and USGA initiative encouraging golfers to have more fun by playing from tees that better align with their ability.

The three professionals will be featured in materials promoting the Tee It Forward message to golfers and golf facilities across the country throughout the year. Through this program, facilities are encouraged to provide golfers with more options off the tee, or recommend that golfers use existing forward tees to have a more enjoyable experience on the course.

"We want golfers to know that they can Tee It Forward anytime and anywhere," Nicklaus said. "Average golfers, who are inspired and motivated to play like their favorite Tour players, should not look at where those players tee from but, instead, the results of those tee shots. If golfers, who often play too far back, would move to a more forward tee, they are going to be left with shorter irons into greens, which enhances their ability to score better, and, in the end, makes the game more fun . . . and that's what it's all about."

The PGA of America and USGA promoted Tee It Forward for a specific time period in 2011, but the success of the program warranted year-round implementation in 2012. More than 1,900 facilities registered in 2011 with an average of 123 golfers per facility (nearly 237,000 nationwide) playing from forward tees during the promotional period. Additionally, a survey of more than 3,000 consumers who experienced the program showed that 70 percent found their round of golf more enjoyable and more than 90 percent said they would recommend Tee It Forward to a friend. The survey also found nearly 50 percent of respondents saying the program helped them play faster.

Nicklaus, Johnson and Creamer form a versatile core as spokespersons for the program because of their experience in the golf industry, success on the course, varied playing styles and consistent involvement with community programs and growth of the game initiatives.

Nicklaus is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and a renowned golf course designer. He won 120 tournaments as a professional including 73 on the PGA Tour and a record 18 major championships. On the Champions Tour, he claimed another 10 tournaments including a record eight majors. He was a member of six U.S. Ryder Cup teams, was twice named captain of the U.S. squad and was a two-time member of the Walker Cup team. He is the chief designer of nearly 290 courses around the world and his company, Nicklaus Design, has designed more than 365 courses in 34 countries. He has been heavily involved with the First Tee, has been a passionate supporter of several growth-of-the-game initiatives, and contributed greatly to pediatric health care in Florida and nationally through the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation.

Johnson has five PGA Tour victories and 21 top-10 finishes since earning his Tour card in 2008. He has finished in the top five on the money list for each of the last two years and placed fourth in the final FedEx Cup standings in 2011. He has twice represented the U.S. in international competition as a professional, earning spots on the 2010 Ryder Cup team and the 2011 Presidents Cup team. He was also a member of the 2007 Walker Cup team. The Dustin Johnson Foundation was started in 2010 to support youth and college golf programs in the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area.

Creamer began playing professionally in 2005, winning nine times on the LPGA Tour, including the 2010 U.S. Women's Open. She has notched 78 top-10 finishes with 10 of those coming in major championships. She also was a member of the 2004 Curtis Cup team. A regular fixture at the top of the LPGA money list, she has finished the last five seasons in the top 10 in earnings. Creamer has hosted events for the First Tee and participates regularly in events for the Arnold Palmer Foundation.

For more information and to find the courses actively promoting Tee It Forward, visit www.PlayGolfAmerica.com/TEEITFORWARD.


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