By Clair Goodwin
Do you know why there is an abundance of charitable golf tournaments every spring, summer and fall across this region?
The answer is simple: Golfers come out in droves to support them.
Let’s me say that most of the golfers I know love to help good causes, and they love them even more if they also can get in an 18-hole round competing with friends.
The result is that many, many thousands of dollars are raised for medical research, education, organizations involved in delivering relief to victims of disasters, and important services for those in dire need.
I have thought about trying to set up a charitable tournament to raise money for my church, Southside Baptist, which was destroyed by the Joplin tornado and is now being rebuilt in Duquesne. I have never started a tournament from scratch, only offered my assistance in publicizing events being put on by a various organizations to benefit medical groups or help families facing catastrophic medical or reconstruction bills.
It is a daunting task.
The key for any charitable tournament is checking with courses on availability and price, and then picking the brains of some of those who have run successful fund-raising events. Based on what I have seen over the years, the most successful format has been four-person scrambles.
I’m still not certain that I could pull off a fund-raising tournament. Still I think I understand golfers. They want to have a good time on the course, a sandwich and a soda at the end and the prospect of winning something.
But tournaments don’t run themselves. It takes people familiar with golf and dedicated to a project to make everything happen. And you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Successful golf fund-raisers abound in this area. The reason is the generosity of players. You seldom have to as golfers think twice to tee it up, especially when considering the cause a good one.
Golf offers a great — perhaps even the best — environment for charitable causes. I may give the charity tournament a try. The worst that can happen is that I will have wasted my time and little or no money is raised. On the flip side, the best scenario is that the tournament is successful and the church project gets a big boost.
Entry forms for the 65th Ozark Amateur are available in the pro shop at Schifferdecker Municipal Golf Course. The 36-hole individual stroke-play event will be played July 13-14 at Schifferdecker.
Entry fee is $100 and should be submitted with cash or check only. Entry forms should be mailed to Joplin Golf Club, 506 Schifferdecker Ave., Joplin, Mo. 64801.
The Ozark Am was identified by a national golf magazine a number of years ago as the oldest individual tournament west of the Mississippi River.
The “Drive for the Cause” breast cancer tournament is scheduled July 28 at Schifferdecker Municipal Golf Course. An 8 a.m. shotguns start is planned.
Entry forms are available in the Schifferdecker clubhouse. The cost is $55 per player. Flights and prizes will be determined by the number of entries. Entry deadline is July 8.