Ever hear of “Make a Difference Day?” It’s the one day a year that offers the chance to do something good for others, though many of our favorite golfers do this year round. Let’s use this day to talk about some of the pros who are known for their altruism as well as their golf game.
Among the many charities Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, support are Birdies for the Brave when he gives $100 for each birdie and $500 for each eagle he makes. The Mickelson Foundation supports a variety of youth and family initiatives including funding research to find a cure for breast cancer.
In 2001, PGA and Champions Tour star Tom Lehman won the Charles Bartlett Award for his unselfish contributions to golf and his efforts to raise money for causes like the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Hopekids and The Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.
Jack Nicklaus also pours a lot of money into helping to fund the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation providing a huge array of free services for children in hospitals in Florida, along with other health and educational facilities across the country.
In 2007 Annika Sorenstam created the ANNIKA Foundation to promote healthy and active lifestyles for children and helps support the Florida Hospital for Children. “I care about nutrition for kids. One third of our young people are obese. That adds up to 25 million kids,” she says. She has partnered with SPARK, a non-profit organization that promotes the benefits of physical activity and proper nutrition in schools.
Notah Begay III
Four-time PGA Tour winner, Notah Begay III, is also concerned about children’s health. For the past seven years he has come to Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York, bringing top PGA Tour golfers to compete in his Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge to raise awareness and build support for the health and wellness of Native American children.
Arnold Palmer, also part of the Pebble Beach ownership group is a heavy hitter when it comes to giving back. His charities help support organizations like the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, Florida; the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center in California; and Arnold Palmer Pavilion in Pennsylvania for cancer patients.
And what about David Feherty, who some remember “misplaced” the Scottish Open Cup after he won it in 1986 and is today notable for his witty commentary on the game? Listen up. Feherty’s Troops First Foundation provides meaningful assistance to wounded veterans. The cause is supported by the Golf Channel Amateur Tour, having contributed more than $240,000 in the past three years. Good stuff.
Featured image of Jack Nicklaus with St. Jude patients by Nicklaus.com.