Lawrence, Kansas, United States: The 2017 Rounds 4 Research fund-raising programme to support turfgrass studies, managed by the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), sold more than 1,080 rounds and yielded in excess of US$217,000 in its May on-line auction, making it the most successful in the history of the six-year programme.
The EIFG is the philanthropic organisation of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association raised US$50,000 and was the leader among more than 70 GCSAA affiliated chapters and turfgrass organisations that received proceeds from the auction to support turfgrass research at the local level. The Georgia GCSA was next with nearly US$20,000 raised for its association.
The top bid was US$5,200 for a round of golf for four donated by Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, South Carolina. Other high bids included US$2,650 for four players at East Lake Golf Club outside of Atlanta and US$1,600 for four players at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“I made the decision that this was for a good cause and it was something I wanted to do,” said Dr Christian Clark, a gastro-enterologist in the Tulsa area who placed the top bid to play at Sage Valley. “It will be well worth the price to be able to play with several friends. I used to live in South Carolina and I am looking forward to making the trip.”
Rhett Evans, GCSAA Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are thrilled that Rounds 4 Research had its most successful year ever. This is a wonderful programme that allows golfers to help support the future of the game through important turfgrass research while playing the courses they love.”
The national campaign is supported by a US$50,000 donation from The Toro Company, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF). The Golf Channel, Golf Advisor and GolfNow provided promotional support.
Nearly 60 golf course management companies donated more than 350 rounds to the auction, including Billy Casper Golf, ClubCorp, Marriott Golf, the PGA Tour TPC network of courses and AGIF Executive Member Troon Golf. The programme has raised more than US$782,000 since launching in 2012.