Golf Marathons for Charity

mario-bellomoMario V. Bellomo is the PGA director of golf at The Outpost Club in Raritan, New Jersey.

The Outpost Club was very excited to partner with Jim Colton and the One Divot Foundation to run a Hundred Hole Hike tournament because it tied in so closely with our mission, which is to provide unique golf experiences for our membership. Our golf society is filled with passionate golf aficionados who play quickly, appreciate compelling course architecture, respect the history and traditions of the game, and want to give back to the community. While the Hundred Hole Hike tournament is just one of roughly 60 events that we put on around the world each year for our members, it is certainly one of the most rewarding. Members who participate in this event walk (not ride in a golf car) a minimum of 100 golf holes in a one day tournament to raise money for their chosen charities. Some hikers have people pay an amount for every hole they complete, while others secure a flat donation for their efforts. Some even have their donors add to their total for birdies, eagles and aces throughout the event. Our members, who love to walk great golf courses, have fallen in love with this event and have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for their chosen charities.

This is the second year we have hosted a Hundred Hole Hike event. This year the event was held at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (site of the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur), and last year at Stonewall Links (site of the 2016 US Mid-Amateur) in Elverson, Pennsylvania. At Saucon Valley, we had 23 golfers “hike” at least 100 holes. The team that played the most completed 126 holes over 15 hours. When all was tallied for these two events, more than $325,000 was raised for charity by those who participated. The event fee helps to cover any associated guest fees, food & beverage, tee gifts and the pledging tools on the Hundred Hole Hike website. An event such as this can produce a nice revenue stream for clubs and its related caddie program, especially if the event is held on a day when the club is generally closed, like Mondays. This type of event could easily be run by a traditional golf facility with their members or patrons and is a great way to boost revenue while also giving back to the community.

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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.