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Big Names Lend Support to UK's Wounded Troops
While American golfers have the annual Patriot Day, which raised $1.9 million in 2009 to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation, the United Kingdom has its Help for Heroes program. Lending support to the organization on the other side of the pond are legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Seve Ballesteros.
The two-day National Golf Club Challenge will serve as the fundraiser for the Help for Heroes program. To be held July 24-25, 2010, the event will bring hundreds of golf clubs and thousands of golfers together on the same weekend as part of a nationwide golf event with the aim of raising a million pounds for Help for Heroes.
With golf clubs entering on a daily basis, the free-to-enter National Golf Club Challenge is set to become the largest amateur charity golf event ever in the UK.
Nicklaus, recognized as the greatest golfer of the last century and now an acclaimed course designer, said of his involvement in the program: "For all of us who love the game of golf and for those of us who have been given so much because of this great game, it's time to pay it back. And in doing so, we pay it forward. The efforts we have seen in the United States and now in the UK through Help for Heroes and the National Golf Club Challenge are truly a meaningful and impactful way for the golf world to recognize, thank, honor and aid our wounded and weary troops. I have always held a special place in my heart for the golf courses and clubs of the UK for the ways they embrace our game and respect its rich history and traditions. So it is only fitting that the birthplace of golf gives these efforts new life."
Palmer, 80, amassed 92 national and international championships throughout his professional career. After learning about the Challenge, he said: "What an excellent way for the golf world, through the Help for Heroes program, to honor and aid the needy wounded troops of the UK with such a far-ranging and potentially lucrative fundraiser as the National Golf Club Challenge next summer at The Belfry."
Player commented: "Every day many of us take for granted the sacrifices made by those who fight for our freedoms. We take for granted the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon playing a round of golf, while a soldier is off firing a round of ammunition. It is our obligation to support those wounded heroes who have dedicated their lives to protecting ours. The National Golf Club Challenge is a meaningful opportunity for the golfing community to demonstrate their own commitment and support for these brave individuals."
Ballesteros, who's recovering from brain cancer and continues to inspire golfers around the world, said: "I feel the National Golf Club Challenge is a fantastic way to get the golfing world to support a very worthy cause. I have dedicated my life to golf and think it's great to see my sport at the centre of a huge fundraising event for UK soldiers. Good luck and play well!"
"We are very humbled to have the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Seve Ballesteros join Gary Player in supporting the National Golf Club Challenge," said Stacey Jeffries, the National Golf Club Challenge Event Director. "We are passionate about making the National Golf Club Challenge a resounding success for all involved. To have four of the greatest golfers who have ever lived support our initiative to help our injured troops in their time of need, is a major boost to the Challenge and what it strives to achieve."
The format for the National Golf Club Challenge is simple: it will coincide with each participating club's monthly Stableford event, with each club turning the day into its own charity golf event, raising needed funds for Help for Heroes.
The competing clubs will submit their aggregate scores from their best scoring 10 players. This will determine the top-six golf clubs against standard scratch, who will then be invited to compete in the National Final.
The Grand Final at The Belfry, a four-time host of the Ryder Cup, will conclude the 2010 National Golf Club Challenge. The two-day event will feature a practice day, golf clinic, overnight accommodations, the final competition and a gala dinner, including guest speakers and the prize presentations.
For more information about the National Golf Club Challenge, including how to enter your golf club, visit http://www.nationalgolfclubchallenge.org.uk or www.ngcc2010.com.
For more information on Help for Heroes and the work they do, visit their website: http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk.