The European Tour’s #GolfforGood campaign, a charitable narrative which started at the UK Swing and which underpins the entire 2020 season, continued apace at last week’s Hero Open by rewarding local communities and frontline heroes while promoting the positive benefits of golf.
The UK Swing’s second event took place at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club, just outside Birmingham, and once again the European Tour’s #GolfForGood campaign donated £50,000 to the venue, which was then divided to three charities of Forest of Arden’s choice.
Those charities were Blood Cancer UK, which received £20,000, and local charities Newlife and Birmingham Mind, both of which received £15,000. A significant number of Callaway Tour-Grade Range balls, used by the professionals and donated in partnership with Callaway - the Official Ball of the European Tour and UK Swing Events - will also be donated to a local junior golf coaching, AL Junior Academies, based at the nearby Hatchford Brook Golf Centre.
The Heroes Initiative, meanwhile, rewards everyday heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic with unforgettable golfing experiences and prizes. Wayne Duke, an NHS paramedic who has been working on the front lines during the pandemic, was announced as last week’s winner.
He was rewarded for their heroic efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic by a surprise phone call from European Tour star Tommy Fleetwood, while he also received a prize of a year’s membership at Forest of Arden along with a year’s supply of Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls and a custom-made Callaway Odyssey putter.
Jirayr Kececian, Cluster General Manager Golf and Country Clubs UK at Marriott International, said: “The Golf for Good campaign is a fantastic initiative and we are thankful to the European Tour for the opportunity to donate these funds to charities which are close to the hearts of our members.
“Our donation to Blood Cancer UK was our Captain’s choice, while Newlife is a local charity dedicated to helping children with disabilities and Birmingham Mind is the largest independent mental health charity in the region.
“It has been a fantastic week hosting the Hero Open and we are glad that this tournament has also helped make a difference during these challenging times.”
Each host venue during the UK Swing will receive £50,000 from the European Tour’s #GolfforGood initiative, while the top ten players on the mini Order of Merit after the sixth event, the ISPS Handa UK Championship, will also share a further £250,000 to donate to charities of their choice.
At Close House, the host venue of the Betfred British Masters, a total of £137,385 was raised for the tournament’s Official Charity, the Sir Graham Wylie Foundation. This included a £50,000 donation from Betfred for Jack Senior’s hole in one on the 14th hole in the third round, while the title sponsor also contributed a further £16,000 as part of its birdie pledge for host Lee Westwood. In addition to the European Tour’s £50,000 host venue donation, a further £21, 385 was raised through an online auction.
Combined with the Tour’s £50,000 donation at the Hero Open, £187,385 has been donated to good causes, with #GolfforGood set to continue at this week’s English Championship at Marriott Hanbury Manor & CC.