PGA Jr. League has partnered with Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the U.S., to educate young golfers about Lyme and tick-borne disease and provide tips for preventing tick bites.
Bay Area Lyme Foundation will provide a tick prevention kit to all PGA Jr. League Coaches beginning in 2022. Materials include a golf specific pocket prevention guide, a TickKey® removal tool, Tick Tock Naturals® organic tick repellent and Sawyer® picaridin lotion. The kit is designed to easily attach to any golf bag.
“The health and well-being of our PGA Coaches, PGA Jr. League players and their families are of utmost priority, and we are proud to partner with Bay Area Lyme Foundation for this important initiative,” said PGA of America Senior Director of Player Engagement Steve Tanner. “We believe it’s important to educate young golfers about Lyme disease and the simple precautions that can be taken to prevent it.”
Through PGA Jr. League, boys and girls ages 17 and under learn and play golf in a fun, team setting with expert PGA coaching. In 2021, a record 64,000 players participated in PGA Jr. League. Player registration for 2022 is currently open, and families are encouraged to visit PGAJrLeague.com to find a team near them and register online.
Children are among the highest risk group for contracting Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne illness in the United States with at least 476,000 new cases each year. Ticks that can carry Lyme disease flourish in between woods and open spaces and live on small forest animals that often occupy these areas, making golfers particularly susceptible.
“Education on the prevalence of ticks and Lyme disease throughout the country is important to know from a very young age,” said Bay Area Lyme Foundation Advisory Board Member Nina Fairbairn, a former Division 1 golfer who is spearheading this partnership for the foundation. “It’s imperative that young golfers understand necessary precautions to prevent Lyme disease, and we’re proud to partner with PGA Jr. League on this educational initiative.”
Notably, professional golfers Jimmy Walker and his wife Erin, Sophia Popov and Sandra Gal have spoken publicly about being sidelined by Lyme disease.