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Topgolf To Become Global Medaled Event In Special Olympics

Participating athletes can train for free starting in May
Topgolf Special Olympics Amy-3
Photo: Topgolf

Starting in 2024, Dallas-based Topgolf will be recognized as an authorized competition by the Special Olympics, marking the first instance of a brand being designated as a medal-winning event.

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. 

"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.

As of January 1, 2024, the organizing committee of any Special Olympics event held worldwide or across the U.S. may choose to incorporate Topgolf as a global competition with the possibility of being a medaled event, which could involve events such as 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."

Topgolf’s own associates are able to compete in the Special Olympics events. According to Topgolf, the company currently has 18 employees who are also Special Olympics athletes.

Even though the event isn’t officially medaled until 2024, the partnership will begin in May 2023. Topgolf will offer free practice sessions and exhibitions to Special Olympics athletes and Unified Sports participants.

Beginning Sept. 15, 2023, players who visit a Topgolf venue in the U.S. and the U.K. can 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.

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.