Root for These Pros
Many of us look up to professional golfers because of their skills on the course. Some idolize pros for their stellar fashion sense (shout out, Rickie Fowler and the Golf Boyz!). We here at GolfStatus are also big fans of golfers who use their status to do good. This year, we’re especially fond of several golfers who have made generous commitments to a variety of good causes:
- Nationwide Tour Pro James Hahn has pledged to donate $5 for every birdie he makes this season to his “sponsor,” the Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, Calif.
- Rocco Mediate helped donate $60,000 to rebuild the driving range and practice area at Sewickley Heights Golf Club outside Pittsburgh, Penn., and to help the club’s youth golf program.
- Rauji Imada pledged $1,000 to Japanese tsunami relief efforts for each birdie he made during the Transitions Championship in March. Although he ended the competition with only two birdies, he inspired several other pros to pitch in. Brandt Snedeker pledged $500 per birdie and finished with 15 (his sponsor Bridgestone Golf also made a donation). Bobby Gates pledged $250 per birdie and finished with 12.
- Inspired by Imada’s invitation, Bubba Watson donated $50,000 and K.J. Choi donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross.
- The LPGA’s Morgan Pressel promised to donate half of her earnings from the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup to Japanese relief efforts. The tournament was held in May just 150 miles south of the area most devastated by the recent tsunami.
- The LPGA’s Inkyung Kim donated all $220,000 of her winnings from the Lorena Ochoa Invitational last November. Half went to the Ochoa Foundation.
- Tiger Woods tweeted a challenge to reporters in May: if no one asked about his knee at a press conference for the AT&T National, he would donate $1 million to his foundation. The media couldn’t resist, asking the first question about his “overall health,” but Tiger kept his promise anyway.
- Ryo Ishikawa made the ultimate pledge: all of his prize money from the 2011 season will go to victims of the tsunami. He is projected to earn (and donate) more than $1 million.
These golfers are admirable and worthy of our adoration as fans. GolfStatus applauds these generous golfers and all the others out there who give back to their communities on a regular basis.