Goodes Does Good, Rain or Shine
October 4, 2010
By Mark Williams, PGA TOUR Staff
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Good plans sometimes go bad, and more often than not the weather plays a part in those plans. That’s how it went for the Mike Goodes & Friends Charity Classic Pro-Am scheduled for the Monday between the SAS Championship and the Ensure Classic at Rock Barn, when persistent, heavy rain canceled play.
That’s not to say the event didn’t happen. In fact, the fund-raiser may have been more successful without the planned 18 holes of golf.
“We sat around and told some funny stories,” said event host Mike Goodes. “Bob Gilder is a Ryder Cup veteran, and with it being Ryder Cup week he told some interesting stories. It was probably more fun than actually playing. I had a lot of people come up to me after and say ‘That was so much fun.’ I really think a lot of people may have enjoyed that more. It was so different.”
The Triad Youth Golf Foundation brought eight Champions Tour professionals to the Bryan Park Golf Club and Conference Center on Sunday and Monday. Goodes and Gilder were joined by Allen Doyle, Keith Fergus, David Peoples, Denis Watson, Tim Simpson and Bruce Vaughn for the event.
“The Champions Tour made such a great contribution to our event,” said Chris Haarlow, president of TYGF. “With their support and the support of our sponsors, we were able to further communicate the TYGF mission and give more kids access to the game of golf.”
Twenty-four sponsors contributed to make the event a success. Sponsorships will go toward the financial support of TYGF initiatives and the Mike Goodes Scholarship Fund, designed to create learning and playing grants for juniors of all backgrounds.
“The guys that came to play did a great job and were so generous with their time,” said Goodes. “They enjoy doing it. We all do. Any time you can do something with golf and it benefits someone else, that’s a pretty special thing. That’s a no-brainer for me. If it helps, I’m there.”
Goodes told a story of a 15-year-old girl named Ashlii who will benefit from the contributions. Golf is important to Ashlii, one of three children from a family that is having a difficult time making ends meet. Ashlii and her mother, as Goodes explained, were doing all they could to scrape together enough money so she could take golf lessons.
“It was important for Ashlii and her family to get involved in golf,” said Goodes. “Whenever you give, you always feel better than the people you give to. If you help somebody a little bit, it helps them a little bit, but it actually helps you a lot. Giving is something we don’t generally do very easily, but geez, it’s incredible, the rewards.”
The fund-raiser included a diverse group of donated items for an auction—ranging from weekends away at beach and mountain homes to flat-screen televisions. Goodes even managed to secure three Pebble Beach pin flags and had them signed by Jack Nicklaus (1972), Tom Watson (1982) and Tom Kite (1992), all winners of the U.S. Open at that prestigious venue. Fred Funk also signed a pin flag from Crooked Stick where he won last year’s U.S. Senior Open.
The TYGF has introduced the game to thousands of kids at several schools in the area, taking equipment to the schools, teaching the kids the fundamentals of the game and even paying their entry fees into junior tournaments.
“I don’t know the final figures of what we raised, but I know it was a success,” added Goodes. “It’s the first year I’ve been involved, and we raised more money than ever before. It’s all for the kids, so every dollar you raise is good.”
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