On this edition of Tee It Up Grand Strand we take a look at the amazing Patriot Day Golf event that was held at Rivers Edge Golf Club in Shallotte, North Carolina. This outstanding, Arnold Palmer designed, golf course was the perfect spot to host this incredible fundraising event that was the culmination of an inspiring and wild weekend of patriotism and generosity from the community along the Grand Strand.
Patriot Golf Day is America’s Largest Nationwide Golf Fundraiser. It’s sole mission is to raise awareness and money for the Folds of Honor Foundation. Since 2007, the Folds of Honor has had a noble mission. To provide educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. The Myrtle Beach PGA Patriots joined the mission in 2014 and behind the leadership and energy of our amazing friend Jimmy Biggs (Head Pro at Crow Creek) they have grown their dollar raising efforts each year. This year there were 17 PGA professionals and myself, an 11.5 handicap, with a goal of raising $70,000 for Folds.
The day started at dawn with a color guard from a local veterans group presenting the flag behind the clubhouse overlooking the 18th green. After a few pictures and some words of encouragement from Capt. Biggs we were off to our designated starting holes! Each golfer got into their own golf cart and headed off for a long day of golf knowing that they would all meet up again about 12 hours later right in the same spot.
Each of the MB PGA Patriots was tasked with going into their communities and get pledges for each birdie and eagle made throughout the day. This piece adds some drive to the players to play well and hit as many good shots and make as many putts as possible, knowing that each birdie and eagle led to more funds raised for the Folds. It was great incentive for all involved and a great way to keep the drive going even when the arms started to get tired of swinging.
The staff and members at Rivers Edge were as excited to have the day as the golfers were. Members were the only other players on the course with full knowledge of the events of the day. When they saw a group of Patriots coming up behind them on a hole they gladly moved aside and let them play through cheering them on as they played. A few members with homes along the golf course set out coolers and provided refreshments and snacks for the marathoners.
The day ended with all four groups of MB PGA Patriots meeting up and playing the 18th hole as their 100th hole together, one foursome at a time. The back porch of the clubhouse was full of members, guest and families watching and cheering each group as they played their final hole of the day. Twilight was setting in as the last group putted out and as luck would have it, yours truly sank the last putt of the day for a birdie. It was a great way to end an amazing day of golf, patriotism, community and generosity. Can’t wait till next year!
For more information or to donate to the Folds of Honor Foundation visit www.foldsofhonor.org look up Myrtle Beach PGA Patriots and make a donation.