The European Tour’s Golf for Good campaign got off to fast start upon its 2021 relaunch, at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with several initiatives across the tournament week aimed at supporting the local community, celebrating the heroes of the pandemic and promoting golf for all.
Golf for Good returned last week after a hugely successful 2020, with the aim of making a positive impact at the destinations the European Tour visits across the globe.
New for 2021 was the Every Birdie Counts initiative, with every single birdie, eagle and albatross made in the season resulting in charitable donations. The maiden Rolex Series event of the 2021 season received a Birdie Boost, meaning €10 was donated for every birdie, €100 for every eagle and €1,000 for every albatross.
Winner Tyrrell Hatton contributed 16 birdies and three eagles to the cause as Golf for Good raised a total of €15,480 for the tournament’s Official Charity, The Reach campaign. The Reach campaign is raising awareness for World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day 2021, which takes place this Saturday, January 30.
As part of that campaign, eventual Abu Dhabi HSBC Champion Hatton, World Number Three Justin Thomas and Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter wore specially-branded shoes marked with World NTD Day 2021 during the first day’s play at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Those shoes, signed by each player, are now up for auction on https://www.charitystars.com/ and the money raised will be added to the €15,480 raised through Every Birdie Counts, and donated to The Reach campaign.
Meanwhile, the European Tour along with its Official Partner Callaway continued to give back to grassroots golf as 1,800 Callaway Chrome Soft golf balls were donated to the HSBC Future Falcons - a programme established to develop golf at grassroots level across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood provided some more inspiration for the young golfers who are part of the Future Falcons Programme, by surprising them with a live Zoom call after his second round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Many of the European Tour’s stars also expressed their personal thanks to all of the frontline workers in Abu Dhabi for all of their hard work during the pandemic, in a special video message.
The ADNOC Mangrove Seedling Project added to the initiatives at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with tournament partner ADNOC – one of the least carbon-intensive oil and gas producer in the world - committing to planting an additional 1 million seedlings to the ten million they had already committed to planting in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra Region by the end of 2022.
Tom Phillips, the European Tour’s Head of the Middle East Office, said: “The Golf for Good campaign made a very positive contribution to a hugely successful Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship – the opening tournament, and first Rolex Series event, of the European Tour’s 2021 Race to Dubai.
“It was not only an action-packed week on the golf course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, but there were many initiatives taking place off the course – all with the aim of making an impact locally and globally.
“We would like to thank all of our partners, especially the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and title sponsors HSBC for all the work they put in to ensure that the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship leaves a lasting legacy year-in, year-out.”
About Golf for Good
Golf for Good is a charitable initiative set up by the European Tour to make a positive impact across the globe through three central aims:
· Supporting communities where the European Tour plays
· Celebrating the true heroes of the pandemic such as frontline workers
· Promoting golf for all
From its launch in July 2020 to the conclusion of the season in December, Golf for Good helped raise over €1 million for local and global charities. More than 20,000 Callaway golf balls were also donated to grassroots golf while frontline workers of the pandemic were recognised and rewarded for their heroic efforts.
In 2021, the Every Birdie Counts campaign will mean that for every single birdie made in the 2021 Race to Dubai, a minimum €1 will be donated to charity, while a minimum €10 will be donated for every eagle and every albatross will result in a minimum €1,000 donation.
About The Reach Campaign
The Reach Campaign, a first-of-its-kind fundraising initiative to end the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) river blindness, launched in 2020 in the UAE. In partnership with forward-thinking individuals, brands and corporations, The Reach Campaign takes an innovative approach to raising money to end the disease, while also educating the public about river blindness through strategic, targeted advocacy efforts.
About Neglected Tropical Diseases
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of 20 preventable infectious diseases that place a heavy burden on more than 1.7 billion people around the world and typically affect the most marginalized and difficult to reach populations.
NTDs debilitate, disfigure and can be fatal. Every year these diseases cost developing nations billions of dollars and keep families trapped in cycles of poverty. But with the right treatment and interventions, NTDs can be prevented, controlled and in many cases, eliminated or eradicated entirely.
Over 200 million people worldwide require treatment for river blindness, one of the leading causes of preventable blindness.
Like many NTDs, river blindness disproportionately affects those who live in extreme poverty, trapping their families in cycles of poverty as when adults suffer from river blindness, children are taken out of school to support their care. Proceeds of The Reach Campaign go to the Reaching the Last Mile Fund, which offers a proof of concept for the elimination of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in Sub-Saharan Africa.
About HSBC’s Future Falcons
HSBC believes in the power of togetherness. When we all come together, we can achieve incredible things and that starts with the youngest members of society. That is why the HSBC Future Falcons is so important to us.
It is a joint initiative with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and aims to educate, engage and inspire youngsters in a bid to unearth the next generation of UAE golfing talent. Regardless of skill, ability or ambition the HSBC Future Falcons guides children on their first steps in the sport in a fun way and already over 80,000 children have been introduced to this wonderful game.