The golf world, like so much of the broader world, is responding to the crisis by giving of themselves to do what they can to help people in need.
Some businesses in golf have pivoted at least a portion of their day-to-day business to make personal protective equipment, typically free of charge, for those on the front lines. Pro golfers have donated money, memorabilia or time to help out. Golfers at clubs with caddie programs have been pitching in to help caddies make up for lost wages by donating money to funds specifically for them.
Sometimes ourselves in search of a pick-me-up, we’re keeping track of some of the acts of kindness and charity that the golf world is doing to help in a difficult time.
Donating money, gifts or time
Brooks Koepka has donated $100,000 to the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties for relief in his home county in Florida.
Tony Finau has committed to helping 500 vulnerable kids have meals to eat in Utah during the epidemic through the For the Kids nonprofit.
Eight pros, including Rory McIlroy and Jack Nicklaus, have donated memorabilia to raise money for charitable relief.
Billy Horschel has donated his share of The Players Championship purse to help Feeding Northeast Florida, an area food bank, and helped get the unused food from The Players to the food bank. He also donated $10,000 to First Descents to support the organization’s adventure-based programming for young adults coping with cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Max Homa raised $40,000 from fans who pledged money so that Homa, who is notoriously hairy, would shave his legs and arms.
TGA Premier golf is offering free online videos to help young people get an introduction to golf (Video 1 | Video 2). Through its franchises, TGA can also offer free virtual classes to make up for the in-school sessions they typically do.
Augusta National has pledged $2 million to help local coronavirus response in the Augusta area.
Jim and Tabitha Furyk have donated $100,000 through their foundation to the Baptist Health Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for the purchase and acquisition of personal protective equipment. They’re also distributing food for Blessings in a Backpack for hungry children, working with a local company to provide refurbished computers for children attending Title 1 schools that do not have them for distance learning, and made sure military mothers-to-be still receive care packages intended for them at the now-cancelled RBC Heritage.
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour has launched a fund to help those in the golf community affected by the coronavirus pandemic. From April 8-15, the organization will be donating their revenue toward this fund. They also are putting on an online charity auction which includes a private lesson with Sean Foley and a trip to Albany in the Bahamas. They’re also hosting a charity tournament in which junior golfers can pay $29 to join, play a round wherever they are able and get an entry into a drawing for prizes.
The Acushnet family of brands will be donating 15% of their sales from Titleist, Footjoy, Scotty Cameron, Vokey and Kjus completed through the end of April to the CDC COVID-19 Response Fund.
David Leadbetter is offering free classes for parents who are looking to use their time at home to teach their kids the basics about golf.
Kevin Kisner has donated 500 meals to Aiken Regional Medical Center to help frontline workers get a break from the difficult work they’re doing.
KemperSports is collecting gently used and donating new rain suits to hospital worker to use as a form of personal protective equipment.
Ernie Els started an organization called ClubsHELP which pairs up member clubs with local health-care facilities to help provide various resources, including food, PPE and more.
Helping fill gaps for lost wages
Larry David and Lloyd Braun (yup, he’s real) spearheaded a GoFundMe fund for caddies at Riviera Country Club, surpassing their $100,000 goal.
In a similar act, members at Los Angeles Country Club have raised more than $300,000 for their caddies, now out of work
Pinehurst Resort held an incredible online auction to raise money for furloughed employees and caddies
Golf society The Outpost Club has formed an emergency relief fund through their The Outpost Foundation to raise $50,000 and match it with $50,000 to help independent contractors in golf who have lost wages because of the coronavirus outbreak, including caddies, locker room attendants and other golf service workers. So far, they’ve raised $30,000 in public donations, which they’ll match.
Caddies at Bandon Dunes have teamed with the Greater Bandon Association and created a fund for fellow out-of-work caddies, including at the resort’s programs, and raised more than $100,000.
A fund has also been established for the 100-plus caddies working on Kiawah Island and its courses, raising close to $10,000 to date.
Primland Resort in Virginia has created an online auction for furloughed and affected employees, with items like playing in a skills challenge or a full 18-hole round with ambassador Jay Haas, unique resort experiences (including 12 rounds of golf at the resort).
Honma is offering a variety of great gifts, packages, clubs and experiences available through a raffle-style online fundraiser with all of the proceeds going to the PGA of America’s Golf Emergency Relief Fund.
Titleist and Footjoy have created an auction of unique, special experiences involving touring pros, Scotty Cameron, Jim Nantz and others, all supporting the PGA of America’s Golf Emergency Relief Fund.
Making personal protective equipment
Seamus Golf has shut down its day-to-day operations to ramp up mask production for first responders and front-line health-care workers, free of charge.
Rose and Fire is also making masks for first responders, free of charge.
Birth Golf Death, which is founded by a veteran and a nurse, are working to make masks for first responders.
B. Draddy, Zero Restriction and Fairway and Greene, all owned by Billy Draddy, have converted its operation to making masks in Wisconsin.
Stitch Golf has started making masks for frontline health workers, starting April 2 and making more than 4,000 the first day.
Oakley has started mass producing face masks for PPE for frontline health workers, and they’ve donated 20,000 pieces of protective eyewear they had.
Straight Down worked with manufacturing partners to have PPE — 72,000 face masks and 30,000 gowns — produced for local health-care workers
Special merchandise for charity
We are selling special merchandise for and memberships to Ryan Ballengee’s backyard course, Fenced Up Country Club, with proceeds going to the PGA of America’s Golf Emergency Relief Fund.
Linksoul is taking orders for a limited-edition T-shirt, with 100% of sales proceeds going to supporting hourly wage workers and those who have lost work amid the coronavirus pandemic
Waggle is selling a Scramble Against COVID-19 series of T-shirts, with $12 from each shirt sold through April 12 supporting the CDC Emergency Response Fund.
Carl’s Golfland is selling a limited-edition T-shirt, hoping we #shankthisvirus, with proceeds going to various charities, including the American Red Cross.
The Sea Pines Resort is offering a unique $250 care package, with $125 going to affected resort employees and $50 going to the Heritage Classic Foundation, which is the primary charitable beneficiary of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage event. It includes a $100 Sea Pines Resort gift card and an amenity card with 20 percent off various resort purchases, including golf, restaurants and other activities.