David Howell’s hole-in-one at the BMW PGA Championship secured a donation of £71,675 for the tournament’s official charity, the Alzheimer’s Society, as part of the European Tour’s #GolfforGood initiative, which has underpinned the 2020 season since golf’s return.
The BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club marked the third Rolex Series event of the 2020 Race to Dubai and continued the European Tour’s Golf for Good campaign, raising money for charity and rewarding the true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Title sponsors BMW offered to donate £71,675 – the value of the BMW 530e Touring car – if a player were to ace the par-three 14th hole. Howell, the former Ryder Cup player and European Tour Tournament Committee Chairman, holed out from 184 yards on day two with a sweetly struck 7-iron.
Meanwhile, local hero Kath Bayne was rewarded for her efforts throughout the pandemic with a once-in-a-lifetime prize. A social carer who is also lady captain of Sunbury Golf Club, Baines was awarded a BMW PGA Championship Hospitality Experience for next year’s renewal of the event, a BMW 5-Series to drive during that whole week, a year’s supply of Callaway Chrome Soft balls, and a four-ball on the West Course at Wentworth Club. Not only that, Bayne also received a surprise call from the 2020 BMW PGA Champion Tyrrell Hatton to break the good news.
Golf for Good has also been supporting local golf organisations of each venue it visits in the 2020 since the return to golf and following the BMW PGA Championship, a total of 1,800 Callaway Chrome Soft golf balls – the official ball of the European Tour – were donated to golf clubs local to Wentworth.
Golf in Society, which supports golfers with dementia, was chosen by the Alzheimer’s Society to be the recipients and they split the golf balls equally between Rudding Park Golf Club, Mearns Castle Golf Club and Millfield Golf Club.
One of the BMW PGA Championship’s marquee charity fundraisers each year is the Totally Mega-Putt Challenge, which is traditionally one of the focal points of the Championship Village. Although it could not happen this year, fans were encouraged to create their own #MegaPuttChallenge from home and donate to Alzheimer’s Society. All entries with the social media hashtags #MegaPuttChallenge and #BMWPGA will be considered for a competition, with the most creative video putt winning tickets to next year’s event.
“Congratulations to David Howell on a fantastic shot last week, which has secured the donation to the Alzheimer’s Society,” said Graeme Grieve, Chief Executive Officer BMW Group UK. “We have been supporting the Alzheimer’s Society since last year and are delighted to be able to contribute towards the fantastic work they do. Their support of some of the most vulnerable people in society is more important now than ever, which is why we decided to use this year’s BMW Hole-in-One prize for this great cause.”
Alex Hyde-Smith, Director of Fundraising, Alzheimer’s Society said: “We’re delighted to see a hole-in-one was achieved and that we will be receiving a donation from the BMW Hole-in-One Award prize. We’ve all been supporting the golfers from home, and are so grateful for this much-needed donation, particularly when people with dementia have been worst hit by coronavirus, accounting for over a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in the UK, with many carers also feeling isolated and unable to get respite. Every penny donated to us is vital to ensure we are there to support them when they need it most through services like our Dementia Connect Support Line, so that the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK don’t have to face this crisis alone. Thank you to BMW, European Tour and all our supporters.”
Jamie Birkmyre, the European Tour’s Championship Director of the BMW PGA Championship, said: “We were thrilled with all of the Golf for Good activations at last week’s BMW PGA Championship and it was particularly fitting that the all-important hole-in-one should come from David Howell, the European Tour’s Tournament Committee Chairman. We must extend our massive thanks to our title sponsors BMW for their generosity in donating the money to a charity as worthy as Alzheimer’s Society, in its second year as Official Charity to the Championship.”