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Thursday, October 06, 2022
Florida Gators women's golf practice Monday, February 14, 2022 at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Leslie White
Florida Gators women's golf practice Monday, February 14, 2022 at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Leslie White

Although redshirt sophomore Taylor Roberts hasn’t made a tournament appearance for UF yet, she is already at work.

Roberts, along with Duke golfer Phoebe Brinker, will host the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Impact Cup July 25-26 at the Bobby Jones Golf Club and the East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta. 

The Impact Cup is a unique college golf tournament that provides competitive golfers the opportunity to showcase their talents and develop important life skills. Its mission is to educate, foster and support awareness around youth mental health while establishing a peer-to-peer network where no one feels alone. 

“I started the Impact Cup because when I was going through my own struggles. I realized how lucky I was to have resources that my parents provided for me,” Roberts said.

The goal for the Impact Cup is to raise $100,000. Each participant of the tournament has agreed to raise at least $1,000 to benefit the AJGA’s ACE Grant Program, which provides financial assistance to young golfers who aspire to earn a college golf scholarship through competitive junior golf, and The Generation Next Project, a charity aimed at providing tools to combat mental health in golf. 

Roberts leads all participants with $65,691 fundraised as of Sunday. 

“A lot of people don’t have access to resources and I wanted to raise money that would eventually help people learn more about mental health and how to better themselves,” Roberts said.

“I hope that bringing together collegiate golfers who have faced similar circumstances and struggles can start the necessary conversation surrounding mental health,” Brinker said.

Roberts and Brinker respond to their mental health struggles by being vocal about them and creating outlets for younger athletes who share similar experiences. 

The golfers’ partnership with the AJGA has already been utilized once. In 2020, Roberts and Brinker hosted the Senior Cup in Parkland, Florida,  for high school golfers whose senior season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lifelong friends brought the idea of the Impact Cup to the AJGA. The association loved the idea, connecting the two athletes with the Generation Next Project Everything was envisioned all on a sit down Zoom call when discussing the tournament. The main message, bringing awareness and ending the stigma on mental health. 

“I hope that bringing together collegiate golfers who have faced similar circumstances and struggles can start the necessary conversation surrounding mental health,” Brinker said.

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Contact Brandon Hernandez at bhernandez@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @BranH2001.

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Brandon Hernandez

Brandon Hernandez is a student at the University of Florida studying journalism. He is a writer for The Alligator, Gator Country and for PlugTalkSports. You can find most of his work on his Twitter (BranH2001) and on his podcast, “The Courtside Podcast,” on Spotify.


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