Professional Team Event for Charities

Shaun-BezillaShaun Bezilla, the 2013 Michigan PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year and Junior Golf Leader, is the PGA head professional at Harbor Point Golf Club in Harbor Springs, Mich.

I moved to the Harbor Springs area in 1997. It’s a fabulous community that offers one of Northern Michigan’s premier resort operators in Boyne USA. I thought it would be nice to start a team event for local PGA Professionals to raise money for charity and give back to our community. The event is called the Harbor Cup Matches and is very similar to the Ryder Cup in formats; each team has 12 members playing Four Ball, Foursomes and Singles. The event rotates between Team Boyne and Team Harbor facilities each year. The event kicks off each year with a pairings party and dinner where participants are encouraged to bring wives and/or girlfriends. Through the years the event has become so well-received that many of our members and general public come out to watch and cheer for the great golf that is being played.

The Harbor Cup has become very successful since its inception, as it has raised nearly $250,000 for local charities. Some of that money comes from the PGA Professionals, who each make a $100 donation to our fund, but a healthy amount also comes from club members and public donations. With the event’s growth in popularity we’ve seen our charitable contribution substantially increase, allowing us to have an even bigger impact locally. Additionally, our goal was to make the event beneficial for hosting facilities so participants and guests pay for their meals, helping the host facility’s food & beverage sales. This type of event lends itself to goodwill for the community and allows us to really support local charities. It’s a model that wouldn’t be hard to replicate in other areas of the country, and one that can create great camaraderie.

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