T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Annual Florida PGA Challenge Cup Matches honor Arnold Palmer
Series: Golf Buzz
Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 | 9:31 a.m.
Members of the North Florida and South Florida PGA Sections are taking part this week in the annual Florida PGA Challenge Cup Matches.
This year, however, there's a special twist. In conjunction with the tournament, there is also a birdie-a-thon going on to honor the legacy of Arnold Palmer, who passed away at age 87 on Sept. 25.
Players in the matches, along with friends, family and members have been asked to make a pledge for the birdie-a-thon -- either a flat pledge, or a dollar amount per birdie for Team North Florida -- with all proceeds going to the Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation (Click here if you'd like to make a pledge).
The South Florida PGA Section is participating with its own efforts on this cause too.
MPD Custom Golf out of Chicago has created special, commemorative golf bags for both teams in the competition featuring the PGA of America logo, as well as a logo of the Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation, along with Palmer's name on the bags as this year's "Honorary Captain."
In a note to section members, Rich Smith, Executive Director/CEO of the North Florida PGA Section, explained:
As PGA Members and the leaders of the game today, we have an obligation to honor the Legacy of Mr. Palmer and all that he stood for. He even told us this at his Hall of Fame induction in December of 2010 as you heard in the video message. There is no better tribute to a person that means so much to us, to make our best efforts, our relentless efforts just like he played golf and lived life, to continue supporting his impact beyond the game through Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation.
Efforts like this is why the PGA Member is so revered in the industry as the true leaders, and this effort will only elevate that to new highs here in North Florida, as well as around the World if we are successful.
Here's the link to Palmer's touching video message from 2010, mentioned above:
The goal is to raise up to $70,000 in the birdie-a-thon during the tournament and up to $100,000 once all donations are in after the tournament. An official check presentation will happen during the Awards Ceremony at the PNC Father Son in December that benefits the AACF as well, live on NBC to the Palmer Family.
The 2016 Cup Team and Section Leaders will all be there in Palmer Pink presenting the check to Mr. Palmer’s Family.