The 20th anniversary edition of the Golf Foundation Pro-Am, held at The Buckinghamshire on October 9th, raised over £25,000 for grass roots junior golf development. The event also helped to profile the work of the Golf Foundation in introducing the sport to more children from all backgrounds and the creation of better club and school/community links, as part of the ‘Start’ initiative of England Golf’s Whole Sport Plan.
Twenty-four teams teed off at The Buckinghamshire, a course set up in superb condition by the PGA European Tour, which has been a partner of the event since it first started in 1986. Each team from the world of golf and business was partnered by a European Tour professional, with Carl Mason, Ian Mosey and Nick Job among the seasoned Tour pros taking part. Competitors later enjoyed a dinner, auction and raffle, giving generously to the Golf Foundation cause.
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said, “I think it was fitting that on the 20th anniversary of our Pro-Am we received some great feedback from people who really enjoyed the whole experience of the day. The fact that so many teams want to be involved hopefully shows how they feel about the event and our work in junior golf development.”
Mike added, “The Foundation would like to thank the PGA European Tour for helping us to always keep standards high throughout 20 years of the competition. The team at The Buckinghamshire should also be praised for their excellent support each year.”
This year’s revenue from the event will go towards some of the Foundation’s key initiatives, including Tri-Golf in schools (Tri-Golf is a modified golf game that is colourful and safe and has been introduced to 3,000 primary schools during the last three years) and the new Golf Xtreme initiative, the fun introduction to golf and its educational benefits, aimed at the 11-16 year-old in secondary schools.
The winning team on the day came from Clarion Events, supported by professional, Ian Mosey, scoring 92 points to edge out teams, Security Blinds (second place with 90 points) and the Golf Foundation’s own Duke of York team (third place: 90 points). This team included 13 year-old Alexandra Peters, from Nottingham, the recent winner of the Duke of York Trophy at the Golf Foundation Junior Championships.
After the golf on the day, Pro-Am competitors donated just under £9,000 in a raffle and auction, which was led expertly by George Griffith, a Golf Foundation supporter and member of The Buckinghamshire. One of the competitors, Ricky Fagan, took the opportunity during the event to present a cheque for £12,000 to the Golf Foundation, which was raised at the Ricky Fagan Trophy, held on St Patrick’s Day.
The event concluded with a rousing ovation for Hugh Wickham, of the European Tour, who was stepping down as the event’s Tournament Director after 20 years.
Mike Round said, “Hugh has done so much for both the organisation and the atmosphere of the Pro-Am during this time and was here to help at the very start 20 years ago. He has been a great friend to the Golf Foundation and is a passionate supporter of junior golf. We all wish him well for a happy retirement.”
The Golf Foundation would like to thank all the companies and individuals who kindly donated items for the prizes, auction and raffle.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org