Tournament Participants and Donations


Frank Gumpert, a Gulf States PGA Section Hall of Fame member, past Section Golf Professional of the Year, and past PGA of America Board of Directors member, is the PGA director of sales and membership at the University Club of Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

While I served on the PGA of America’s Board of Directors, I was heavily involved in the beginning of Patriot Golf Day along with PGA Professional Major Dan Rooney. That experience led me to want to do something at our club, so in 2011 we started our Patriot Shootout. It is a 27-hole affair that features nine holes of three different formats – a scramble, a shamble and modified alternate shot. The entry fee is $1,000 for a single team and $2,500 if you want to enter two teams and sponsor a hole. The event, which has 64 two-man teams, has sold out every year and typically has a waiting list. In 2012, it raised $100,000 for the Folds of Honor Foundation. But I still felt the need to do something greater. I emailed the 128 participants trying to get sponsors for scholarships and within the first 24 hours I got eight commitments totaling $40,000! Since then I’ve gotten four more commitments at $5,000 each, putting the total scholarship money for this year at $60,000. The community support for this event has been absolutely amazing, as we’ve been able to raise awareness and honor the sacrifice of our local hometown heroes and make a difference at the same time. Additionally, being a college town and the home course of Louisiana State University, the support of their athletic department has been a great enhancement for our event, as they not only supply monetary support but auction items as well.

Frank Gumpert on the business impact of engaging tournament participants to help spur donations:
While any event that helps the troops is much more about helping one’s bottom lines, this has definitely helped to raise our profile and the profile of other businesses around us. Of the 128 tournament participants, 70-75 percent are not members here, so it has helped to make them aware of our facility and what we have to offer. Additionally we believe that doing this event has helped with membership loyalty and helped to retain members as well. But the most concrete impact has been for local restaurants, who beg to help out to the point where we have to turn some of them away. We encourage them to promote themselves and bring menus and business cards to the holes they are serving from, and that has proven to be a big success, as we’ve heard from several who said they’ve seen participants visit their restaurants and help attract additional customers. But the biggest, overarching impact, stretching beyond bottom lines, has been from the banquet we hold the night before. We do something unique here in that we bring together the scholarship recipients with their donors. It’s an inspiring experience that has led five people to come up to me during the banquet and say they want to be donors for next year’s scholarships. That’s what it’s all about.

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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.