Tour professionals, PGA professionals and Ladies European Tour players joined friends of junior grass roots golf from the world of business and sport to support the 23rd Golf Foundation Pro-Am on 12th October. Around £18,500 was raised for the leading golf charity’s work in making golf more accessible to all youngsters.
The European Tour stages the competition for the Golf Foundation each year. Working closely with Buckinghamshire Golf Club and its Golf Director John O’Leary and his team, The European Tour provided an excellent setting for the day, as teams played a Stableford event in bright autumn sunshine on a golf course in fine condition.
This year, the roster of European and Senior Tour players was joined with guest appearances from the Ladies European Tour. 2008 Ladies English Open Champion Rebecca Hudson and twins Jo Mundy and Sam Head joined the likes of Paul Way, Ian Mosey, Jeremy Robinson, Richard Bland and 2009 European Senior Tour event winners Delroy Cambridge and Glenn Ralph to guide the teams around the course, before a dinner, raffle and charity auction completed the fun.
This fundraising event showcases the work of the Golf Foundation in introducing the sport to youngsters and the charity’s development of stronger links between golf clubs and primary and secondary schools, in support of the national golf partnerships of England, Scotland and Wales.
The European Tour has been a partner of the Golf Foundation Pro-Am since it first started in 1986. Here, both organisations are working together to celebrate the legacy of the Foundation’s founding father, and one of the UK’s premier touring golf professionals, Sir Henry Cotton. His passion for golf has been furthered by the Foundation and Tour players in creating eager golfers from diverse backgrounds and abilities.
The Golf Foundation was assisted in this event by the Tour Player Foundation, the charitable foundation of The European Tour and its members. Its Charity Executive David Park helped the Golf Foundation team to assemble some exciting silent and live auction and raffle items. The live auction was led expertly by George Griffiths, a Golf Foundation supporter and member of The Buckinghamshire.
A major highlight of the day was a presentation to the Foundation of a £5,000 cheque by Ricky Fagan, a member at The Buckinghamshire. Ricky runs the Ricky Fagan Trophy on St Patrick’s Day and has been a strong supporter of the Pro-Am for many years now.
Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “The goodwill and interest for this event has been as strong as ever and that is due to excellent support from everyone involved. Once again The European Tour, working with John O’Leary and his staff at Buckinghamshire Golf Club, have been able to provide a great venue and put on an exciting competition for us.
“I’d like to thank all the players, professional and amateur, for their involvement and also those who were to be able to donate on the day like Ricky Fagan, who has been hugely generous. These contributions are vital for the Golf Foundation, a charity that is making huge strides to grow the game. Fundraising like this allows us to build on a momentum which is seeing more and more children benefit from golf and the sporting and social benefits which the game offers them.”
The winning team on the day came from European Tour Productions with 96 points, led by their professional Richard Bland, followed in second place by PING, and in third place the team from The European Tour. The longest drive was won by Darryl Jones and the nearest the pin prize went to Ian Kinley, both from Tractor Hire. Prizes on the day were provided by Level 4 and PING.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org