Texans are known for doing things in a big way, so perhaps it was no surprise that dozens of Lone Star golf courses stepped up to raise tens of thousands of dollars during the Labor Day weekend for Patriot Golf Day, honoring the Folds of Honor, Birdies for the Brave, Wounded Warriors Foundation and other similar military support organizations.
No matter if they were public or private, old or new, large or small, many Texas courses joined in to support the effort across the three-day holiday weekend, a venture first started by Oklahoma pro Maj. Dan Rooney in the neighboring Sooner State.
“We have an assistant pro here who just walks along the putting green asking for donations from members and guests,” said Dallas Athletic Club Director of Golf Lance Patterson. “Everybody wants to help and everybody can do it in a separate way. We raised hundreds and thousands over the years just by people giving.”
Probably the biggest fundraising tournament was held at the TPC Craig Ranch facility in McKinney, which will host the Web.com Tour Championship in late October.
The course hosted the Birdies for the Brave tournament where 100 players helped raise $75,000 to support Wounded Warriors. In addition, the Purple Heart Foundation and local sponsors helped provide a new home in North Texas for a wounded, returning veteran.
“We always need to show that we care for these heroes who have given everything for us,” said General Manager and Director of Golf Todd Harbour. “We have great sponsor support, great member support and great staff support along with the PGA Tour and our owner David Craig who fully backs this.”
This year’s tournament featured three wounded Navy Seals and one Medal of Honor recipient, along with PGA Tour player and longtime military supporter Frank Lickliter.
The day before the event, several major sponsors went along with military veterans to a local shooting range on a nearby ranch to fire hundreds of shells with a wide variety of high tech weaponry.
Harbour said it is encouraging to see how the veterans are not letting military wounds dampen their spirit.
“We had one wounded veteran who was having trouble balancing with his gun, so he just unscrewed his artificial leg and used it crossways to steady his gun so he could shoot,” he said. “We are all about creating momentum so those who have served and come home are never forgotten and those of us who are here are always aware of their sacrifice.”
Nearby, at Gentle Creek Golf Club in Prosper, members raised $10,000 with tournaments and donations. The total was $2,000 more than in 2011.
“We have great support and great members and they all want to help,” said General Manager Jim Sanders.
In South Texas, the four-course Horseshoe Bay Resort and Country Club raised more than $1,000 during the three-day weekend through contributions and contests.
“It’s important we never forget what these brave men and women have done for us,” said Director of Golf Glenn Lee.
The Oklahoma-based Folds of Honor Foundation listed more than 100 Texas golf courses participating from El Paso to New Boston, Amarillo to Harlingen.
Nine Australians who work in the golf industry in the North Texas area conducted the 9th Annual Birdies for Kids Fundraiser on Tuesday, at The Honors Golf Club Dallas in Carrollton. The fundraiser consisted of playing 126 holes, with the goal to make as many birdies and eagles as possible. Pledges were made for each one.
The nine Texans, by way of Australia, managed 214 birdies and three eagles throughout the day, an average of almost 3.5 birdies a player in each round.
The event raised more than $135,000 during the day and now has generated $1,139,158 for various children’s charities. The Northern Texas PGA Junior Golf Foundation and Children’s Medical Center will share the funds this year.
Four players from South Texas made the field for the upcoming U.S. Senior Amateur in recent qualifying at Riverbend Country Club in Sugar Land.
Owen Joyner from The Woodlands was the medalist with a 69, while Jorge Gaudino from Mexico City was second at 72. Jarratt Jones from Boerne and Mike Booker from The Woodlands both had 73s to tie for third.
Ticket sales now are under way for the 2012 Texas Golf Hall of Fame ceremonies in San Antonio, Oct. 22. There will be the unveiling of the new inductee marker at the TGHOF facility at Brackenridge Park in San Antonio on Monday morning, then the formal induction ceremony later that evening at nearby San Antonio Country Club.
The inductee reception is set for 6 p.m., with the dinner at 7:15 p.m. The price is $175 for individuals (and $1,750 for a table of 10). Corporate sponsorship is set at $5,000, which includes pre-banquet golf with current and previous inductees.
For more information or to sign up for a living night of Texas Golf History go to www.texasgolfhof.org or contact executive director Reid Meyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.