Honor a Fallen Hero

Bill-CraigBill Craig, the 2012 Southern Texas PGA Section Patriot Award winner, is the PGA head professional at Northgate Country Club in Houston, Texas.

In 2009, we started a Folds of Honor event at Northgate in honor of Corporal Scott McIntosh, the son of one of our influential and beloved members, Alex McIntosh. This event has really become a staple at our club and continues to grow each year; beginning with 100 players, we expanded the second year to a two-day event with 150 players and a speaking engagement featuring Major Dan Rooney, PGA and Colonel Leo Thorsness. Since then, the event has grown to 248 players for golf and more than 300 for the Medal of Honor dinner, which takes place the night before the event. There are many Folds of Honor golf events across our country, but we have added in several unique aspects to make our outing truly special. Taking place on a Friday at noon, the golf round is preempted by a ceremony on the range tee, which consists of a retiring of the colors and a 21-ball salute where Alex’s fellow members tee off consecutively across the range like dominoes. During play, we have a company out serving hot food as players go through, Golf Pride gives away complete sets of Patriot Grips on a par-3, and the Lone Survivor Foundation gives away a set of bronze boots on another par-3. After play, a dinner and awards ceremony includes both silent and live auctions.

Bill Craig on the business impact of honoring a fallen hero with a charitable event:
In the last four years, this event has raised more than $800,000 in charitable donations. All of the live¬†auction items are provided by members, one of which even provides transportation on his private jet. This year’s nine live auction items raised more than $100,000, with the silent auction items producing more than $10,000. This is by far the smoothest run tournament I’ve ever been associated with, all due to the support of Alex, the tournament committee, and their fellow members and friends. I would be happy to sit down with any PGA Professional and discuss how to put together an event like ours.