PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods is hosting another tournament, this one for recreational golfers on courses that include Merion and Congressional, and a gem north of Boston that a century ago was reputed to be the toughest U.S. Open course.
The Tiger Woods Foundation, which has seven learning centers and funds the Earl Woods Scholarship Program, has been raising money primarily through five events. There's the Tiger Jam in Las Vegas (a charity concert and poker night) and the Tiger Woods Invitational (a private tournament for donors at Pebble Beach). The foundation also benefits from the Quicken Loans National and Deutsche Bank Championship on the PGA Tour, and his 18-man World Challenge in December.
The latest venture is called the Tiger Woods Charity Playoffs. It's an amateur golf series that stretches over five months on eight golf courses, and it rewards the best players and fundraisers with a final event in Orlando at the end of the year.
"My foundation provides really awesome experiences, and this event allows all golfers to play cool courses for charity," Woods said in an email through his foundation.
Two-person teams can select a regional qualifying tournament with a registration fee ($500 per player on most courses), a $1,000 charity pledge and a goal of fundraising. The teams with the low net and gross score from each site, along with any team that raises $10,000 or more, qualify for the Charity Playoff Finals on Dec. 1-2.
Finalists gets two days of golf, two nights in the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World Resort, a private exhibition with Woods and clubhouse credentials to the World Challenge. The team that raises the most money will get pro-am spots in the three PGA Tour-sanctioned events for 2015.
The first event is May 27 at Cascata in Las Vegas. Other courses are Congressional, Merion, Trump National in New Jersey, Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, Calif.; Innisbrook in Florida and Myopia Hunt north of Boston.
Most of the courses are private, including Myopia Hunt, which hosted the U.S. Open four times between 1898 and 1908 and produced three of the highest winning scores in U.S. Open history.
The series was announced three weeks ago, and 31 donors already have signed up for Merion, where the U.S. Open was played last year for the fifth time.
"We wanted to reach out to a new audience, amateur players, who can play these great courses and raise money for charities," Foundation spokeswoman Emily Taylor said.
Taylor said the foundation did not set a goal for how much money to raise. Proceeds are to benefit the Tiger Woods Learning Centers – the main one in Anaheim, Calif., one in Florida, two in Philadelphia and three in the Washington, D.C., area – and the Earl Woods Scholarship Program. Some of the money will be split among the foundation and charities designated by regional tournaments, particularly if they don't have a learning center.