Golfers unite for charity

Tommy Snell
Tommy Snell

As I listened to the “Soul Man” Sam Moore sing America the Beautiful at the Make America Great Again Concert, I could not help but think about the impact golf has had on this great country.

The game entered the republic as an immigrant looking for land, giving architects a chance to paint purple mountain majestic venues on a US canvas stretching from sea to shining sea.

Golf might be known as the sport for the rich, demanding high green fees and pricey clubs and lessons, but the game gives back. Charity golf tournaments have impacted the less fortunate in America since the first 18-hole golf course, The Chicago Golf Club, was founded in 1893. That club along with four others founded the USGA in 1894, and not long after Rodman Wanamaker and 82 founding members formed the PGA of America.

These two organizations give back faster than a ball machine fills up a small bucket. The PGA of America created the PGA Junior League and developed a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs. The USGA recently joined the Masters and PGA to create the Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship.

With their many sponsored internships that benefit amateurs across the nation and other charitable endeavors, the USGA continues to be good for the game.

The PGA Tour believes that “Together, anything’s possible,” and its 2014 milestone of 2 billion in charitable giving lights up as a leaderboard for organizations across America. Locally, the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic with its many volunteers adds to the total each year.

Politics filled up the tee sheet for the past few months, but golf and its charitable groundwork books tee times every single day. Golf might be a game for the rich, but its foundation enriches the lives of our youth, military and other causes with every scramble, pro-am and Tour event.

Tommy Snell, golf coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, writes a column for the Sun Herald.