Thursday, April 8, 2010
Golf's Great Online Auction - 1,100 foursomes
More than 700 courses have pledged tee-times to help raise money for golf turfgrass research in the auction that runs April 7 to April 21. With many courses committing more than one tee-time, the total pool of available foursomes has already topped 1,100. Most foursomes are good for use one year from the end of the auction.
The vast majority of courses are in the golf-centric states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
“This has got to be the largest grassroots effort the golf industry has undertaken on its own behalf,” says Rounds4Research.com chair, Paul Jett, certified golf course superintendent at Pinehurst No. 2, just one of Golf Digest’s best 100 that is participating. “And of course the pun is intended.”
With funding for turfgrass research drying up as states battle budget deficits and the economy takes its toll on traditional industry sources such as the USGA’s Green Section, golf course superintendents in the Carolinas devised Rounds4Research.com to help fill the void.
“This is not just a golf industry issue. It’s an issue for the overall economies of every state involved,” Jett says. “Studies show that golf generates billions of dollars in economic activity across the participating states each year. That’s a lot of jobs and community benefit riding on the health and conditioning of our golf courses. Turfgrass research is our greatest insurance against threats to golf’s role as a significant economic driver.”
Rounds4Research.com generated $55,000 in new funding for golf turfgrass research on debut last year with just 320 lots on sale. Some foursomes sold for as little as $25, others ranged deep into four figures.
“This is a great way for the average golf lover to gain access to places they could only otherwise dream of playing,” Jett. “And even on courses that are public, the auction format gives them the chance to secure some bargain pricing. I think there will be some moms and kids shopping for special Father’s Day presents this year.”
In each participating state, Rounds4Research.com has the backing of the state golf associations, regional PGA sections, club managers groups and owners affiliated with the National Golf Course Owners Association.
North Carolina: Paul Jett, CGCS Pinehurst No. 2 (910) 235-8773
South Carolina: Jeff Connell, Fort Jackson Golf Club (803) 600-8892
Georgia: Tenia Workman, Georgia GCSA (706) 376-3585
Texas: Karen White, Lone Star GCSA (972) 307-8162
Virginia: David Norman, Virginia GCSA (804) 747-0264
For an auction overview and background:
Tim Kreger, Executive Director, Carolinas GCSA (800) 476-4272