PGA Master Professional Kevin Compare normally would be busy this time of year giving lessons. But the pandemic keeping him off the practice range, Compare pushed up the schedule for his ride of a lifetime.
Together with daughter– Amy – and followed by wife – Joan – in a motor home, the Compares began “Divot’s Drive for Charity” on Monday, May 18, a month earlier than planned. Their goal: to pedal 3,100 miles across eight states and benefit nine charities.
Before getting started, father and daughter dipped the back wheels of their Jamis T-6 road bikes in the Pacific Ocean on Ocean Beach near San Diego, California. Despite being slowed to repair a faulty gear and lucky to find an open bike shop, they rode just over 53 miles before sunset.
“We got into the mountains outside San Diego, and they were really tough,” said Compare, a resident of Stuart, Florida. “I think we went from sea level to 4,500 feet. No way to train for that in sunny flat Florida.”
The ride supports charities that have been embraced by his family. Their goal is to dip the front wheels of their bikes in the Atlantic Ocean on July 1, near St. Augustine, Florida.
“It was a tough first day, and we have about 20 miles more of climbing a mountain tomorrow and it’s mainly downhill for about 60 miles. We have both ridden a hundred miles in training, but there’s no way to train for going up the mountains. It’s just relentless.”
Compare, 62, formed a golf-exhibition firm, Divot the Clown Corporation, in 1984. In 2004, he became an instructor at The John Webster Golf Academy at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. Daughter Amy, 25, is an environmental educator with a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Central Florida and a Masters of Education degree from the University of Washington.
The Compares hope to raise $100,000, based upon attracting 1,000 donors of at least $100. The Compare Family Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization, will manage donations. So far, they’ve received donations of nearly $10,000.
Divot’s Drive for Charity targets the following charities:
Martin County Special Olympics
The South Florida PGA Foundation
The Arc of Martin County, which benefits individuals with intellectual developmental disabilities.
Urban Youth Impact, which empowers inner-city youth in West Palm Beach.
The Breezy Foundation, which gives scholarship support to Martin County college bound students studying to become Education Service Contracting (ESC) instructors.
The Edna Fraser Athletic Scholarship, named after a legendary women’s sports trailblazer at Compare’s alma mater, Foran High School in Milford, Connecticut.
The Neil Sheriden College Fund, named after a late greens superintendent at Breakers West who succumbed to cancer, and benefits his small children’s college aspirations.
The South Fork Scholarship, which the Compare family will present to a recipient at his children’s high school in Stuart.
The Michael Compare Scholarship, named in honor of his late nephew, a police officer in the Milford Police Department who was a pillar for city youth before passing at age 36.