The European Tour’s Golf for Good campaign got off to fast start upon its 2021 relaunch, at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with several initiatives across the tournament week aimed at supporting the local community, celebrating the heroes of the pandemic and promoting golf for all.
Golf for Good returned last week after a hugely successful 2020, with the aim of making a positive impact at the destinations the European Tour visits across the globe.
New for 2021 was the ‘Every Birdie Counts’ initiative, with every birdie, eagle and albatross made in the season resulting in charitable donations. The maiden Rolex Series event of the 2021 season received a ‘Birdie Boost’, meaning €10 was donated for every birdie, €100 for every eagle and €1,000 for every albatross.
Winner Tyrrell Hatton contributed 16 birdies and three eagles to the cause as Golf for Good raised a total of €15,480 for the tournament’s official charity, The Reach campaign, which raises awareness for World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day 2021, which takes place on January 30.
As part of that campaign, Tyrell Hatton, Justin Thomas and Ian Poulter wore specially-branded shoes marked with ‘World NTD Day 2021’ during the first day’s play in Abu Dhabi. Those shoes, signed by each player, are now up for auction on https://www.charitystars.com/ and the money raised will be added to the funds raised through Every Birdie Counts, and donated to The Reach campaign.
Meanwhile, the European Tour along with its official equipment partner Callaway Golf continued to give back to grassroots golf as 1,800 Chrome Soft balls were donated to the HSBC Future Falcons – a programme established to develop golf at grassroots level across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood provided some more inspiration for the young golfers who are part of the Future Falcons Programme by surprising them with a live Zoom call after his second round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Many of the European Tour’s stars also expressed their personal thanks to all of the frontline workers in Abu Dhabi for all of their hard work during the pandemic, in a special video message.
The ADNOC Mangrove Seedling Project added to the initiatives at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with tournament partner ADNOC – one of the least carbon-intensive oil and gas producer in the world – committing to planting an additional 1 million seedlings to the ten million they had already committed to planting in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra Region by the end of 2022.
Tom Phillips, the European Tour’s Head of the Middle East Office, said: “The Golf for Good campaign made a very positive contribution to a hugely successful Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship – the opening tournament, and first Rolex Series event, of the European Tour’s 2021 Race to Dubai. It was not only an action-packed week on the golf course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, but there were many initiatives taking place off the course – all with the aim of making an impact locally and globally.
“We would like to thank all of our partners, especially the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and title sponsors HSBC for all the work they put in to ensure that the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship leaves a lasting legacy year-in, year-out.”