In Utah, Tony Finau is providing 500 meals a week with hygiene kits included to school children in the Salt Lake City district.
In Jacksonville, Fla., Jim Furyk has donated $100,000 to Baptist Health’s COVID-19 relief fund.
In India, Anirban Lahiri has donated approximately $10,000 to a national relief fund while also providing video cooking lessons as his native country has locked down during the coronavirus pandemic.
In Texas, Ryan Palmer organized the Pros With A Purpose campaign, a fundraising platform that is raising money that will go to the charities supported by five events Palmer typically plays each season but missed this year when they were canceled.
In Virginia, Marc and Audrey Leishman are using their Begin Again foundation to provide meals to health care workers in critical areas as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
In South Florida, Brooks Koepka has donated $100,000 through his foundation to relief efforts in Palm Beach and Martin counties.
In Spain, Sergio García and his family have committed approximately $240,000 to relief efforts in his homeland.
In the northeast corner of Florida, Billy Horschel donated a portion of his Players Championship check and contributed volunteer work for Feeding Northeast Florida.
In Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan spent part of a day making meals for people in need with food that would have been used at the Players Championship he was forced to cancel.
Monahan and the PGA Tour also have set up three relief funds to help local and national charities during this unprecedented crisis.
Also in South Florida, Ernie Els has joined forces with ClubsHelp.org, a quickly expanding collection of golf clubs that partner with area hospitals to provide, through club members, whatever is needed.
In ways big and small and, in many cases, with little public recognition, professional golfers have found ways to contribute during this global crisis. While they sit home with no tournaments to play for months (and some live where golf course access is denied), players have found ways to connect.
“It’s a shining example of how people all around the world are pulling together in this crisis to help vulnerable members of society and, of course, support the frontline health care staff who are literally putting their lives on the line for all of us,” Els said.
As it should, the PGA Tour has made a point through the years of celebrating its commitment to charity. Earlier this year, the Tour reached $3 billion in charitable donations, a number that exceeds the collective total of the other major American sports organizations.
In canceling or postponing events this spring, the tour hasn’t just denied playing opportunities for players and television viewing for fans. It directly impacted dozens of charities big and small in Hilton Head, S.C.; San Antonio, Texas; New Orleans. La., and other places. While it won’t match what would have been contributed had those events been played, the tour has created a plan to send some money toward those charities that count heavily on what golf provides each year.
The images of the pandemic’s grave and immediate impact, especially in the New York City area, have brought the reality of the moment into dens and living rooms across the country as professional golfers, caddies, support staff members and others have seen the world stop, huddle in sheltered places and wonder when it will be safe to come out again.
Rather than focus on when golf might get back to normal, David Bachman, the general manager and chief operating officer of Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown, N.J., decided – with the urging and help of some club members – to help those who are helping others.
Hearing of front-line health care workers at the Morristown Medical Center hardly having time to eat, the club made sandwiches and left them where workers could grab them between patients. A day or two later, members of a weekend golf group delivered four pickup trucks filled with water and sports drinks to the hospital workers and a movement was born.
In the space of one week, approximately 100 clubs were involved. New York’s Deepdale Golf Club partnered with Elmhurst Hospital, which is at the center of the crisis, and the New York Athletic Club is working with Mount Sinai Hospital, having established a daily drop area for supplies.
When one Florida hospital needed 100,000 sandwich bags that can be used to sterilize previously used masks overnight, the ClubsHelp.org program provided those. It recently secured 10,000 masks that have been distributed.
The goal is to get more clubs involved and, golfers being golfers, it could evolve into a challenge, all with the goal of maximizing the contribution to the people doing the critical work.
While golf may have paused in many ways, the chance to make an impact goes on.