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Twenty-Four Birdies? Twenty-Four Grand

By making 24 birdies at the Bob Hope Classic, Steve Elkington donated $24,000 to Australian flood relief.
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January 27, 2011

By Laury Livsey, PGA TOUR Staff

Before the Bob Hope Classic, Steve Elkington predicted he could make somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 birdies during the five-round event.


OK, so he only made 24. Maybe he isn’t Nostradamus, and perhaps you won’t be calling him to interpret the Mayan calendar.


But the 48-year-old can still play golf—even if it is his first tournament of the season. Twenty-four birdies? Not too shabby, and those 24 birdies take on an added significance since Elkington committed to donating $1,000 per birdie he made to help with Australian flood relief.


Throw in contributions from Secret in the Dirt members, a social network of golfers with which Elkington affiliates, and more than $25,000 is going to Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal in Queensland, Australia, to help provide relief to the more than 200,000 people affected by the flooding that took place there.


“I don’t want to overstate my importance in this. I just wanted to give some people who need it a few dollars. This isn’t a big sacrifice on my part. I just thought I would give them some assistance,” Elkington said.


Mike Maves, who launched secretinthedirt.com with Elkington and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Burke, Jr., in April, started another Web site, birdiesforqueensland.com, devoted strictly to flood-related assistance in Australia. The site was up and running less than 24 hours after Elkington and Maves conceived the idea.


“We noticed that the donations being solicited for this flood were being processed by wire, so we are talking about larger donations,” said Maves. “A lot of people who might otherwise want to give something just can’t contribute at a level that makes that approach work. I mean no one is going to send 10 bucks by wire. It would cost them $20 to do it, so we just thought that a bunch of small contributions could add up to something meaningful.” After one week, the site brought in $1,200, with money still coming in.


“The Dirters did their part. They jumped right in to help,” said Elkington, using the nickname given to those who frequent his site for tips on the golf swing and other golf-related information.


And Elkington made a difference by rolling in 24 birdies, the longest a 17-foot, 7-incher at No. 16 at PGA West’s Palmer Course in the first round. “I didn’t make any bombs. Basically, I never did get really hot with the putter,” Elkington said. “But I made a few.”


And because of those “few,” the money will directly go to PDRA, which continues to help Queenslanders affected by the devastating floods.


“It’s human nature to help if you can, so that’s what I did,” Elkington added.

 

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