As explored in a previous blog post, there are many ways in which golf gives back to a variety of charitable organizations. These efforts may include charity tournaments, round donations, and funding initiatives started by individual golfers. Regardless of the method, it is clear that golf is a charitable sport. Remember, “there is no I in golf.”
This important value is commonly exemplified at the professional level. There are many professional golfers who have started and/or contributed to charitable causes. These athletes represent a long list of golfers setting an example both on and off the course.
Here are a few prominent pro golfers known for their philanthropic involvement.
Since rising to professional prominence in the early 2000s, Phil Mickelson has become a household name in the golf world. Off the course, Mickelson has also made a name for himself on the charity front. Along with his wife, Amy, Mickelson started the Phil and Amy Foundation in 2004, which benefits a variety of youth and family initiatives across the country. He also joined with KPMG in 2012 to create Blue for Books, an initiative that strives to provide books to children through the sale of KPMG blue hats.
Arguably the most popular name in golf since the late 1990s, Tiger Woods has used his immense professional success as a vehicle for philanthropy. In 1996, Woods and his father started the Tiger Woods Foundation, which aids community-based programs benefitting children in the United States. Through the foundation, Woods has provided for millions of underprivileged students pursuing a college education.
If you are looking for creative examples of golf philanthropy, look no further than Ben Crane and the “Golf Boys,” a PGA Tour exclusive boy band. The group, which consists of Crane, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, and Hunter Mahan, have released a popular Youtube music video for their song, “Oh, Oh, Oh.” For every 100,000 views garnered by the video, Farmer’s Insurance donates $1,000 to the Farmers and Ben Crane charitable initiatives.
Outside of Youtube fame, Crane’s philanthropy is also reflected through his support of the St. Bernard Project, which benefits survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
Gary Lester “Bubba” Watson Jr. has become very active in philanthropy in recent years. An avid supporter of charities, Watson began the “Drive to a Million” campaign in 2012. The campaign entailed PING donating $300 for the first 300 drives that Watson launched over 300 yards in the 2012 season. The initiative raised over $1.3 million. Watson is also a member of the aforementioned “Golf Boys” group.
As Watson explains on his website, “My hope in giving back is that others would be inspired to do the same, but in their own way and for causes that they care for deeply. Together we can all make a difference in the lives of others.”
Adam Scott has been a mainstay in the philanthropy world since the mid 2000s. Scott started the Adam Scott Foundation in his native Australia in 2005, benefitting a variety of charitable causes including the Australia Education for Kids Program and Adam Scott Foundation Scholarship. The foundation has since expanded to Asia.