IPGA BIRDIES FOR CHARITY-FLYING HIGH IN THE RAIN

Chris Gumbach head professional River Forest Country Club-Elmhurst IL.

THE RAIN FELL but the birdies flew, before they dropped into the hole. Cha-Ching !

It was the 10th annual Illinois PGA Birdies for Charity (BFC), and the winners are the kids.

In the 10 years of the BFC event, with this years totals added, the total amount raised is now over $2 million dollars. The charities that see these dollars are the Ronald McDonald House, The Lurie Children’s Hospital, Juvenile Diabetes Association, and the Illinois PGA Foundation.

Way to go IPGA professionals. Some 35 Illinois PGA Section professionals took part again this year, and unfortunately they had to get wet while doing so. The amount of holes played this year, was a few less then in recent years due to rain delays, but the pro’s got plenty of golf in, and raised more than few dollars moving around the River Forest Country Club in Elmhurst.

The IPGA professionals not only donate their time on a day off, but search for sponsors to support their efforts on the golf course. It’s a simple strategy, more birdies-more money $$$$.

Medinah Country Club teaching professional Travis Johns. Photo’s by Nick Novelli-courtesy of IPGA.

The program was started with an idea from current Medinah Country Club teaching professional Travis Johns.

Johns brought the idea with him from Texas, and presented it to River Forest Country Club head professional Chris Gumbach. Gumbach a member of the IPGA board and sponsorship committee chairman, moved the idea along, got his club involved, and the plan was off and running.

As the years have passed, more and more IPGA professionals have got involved and played in the event, this year there was 4 professionals who have now played all 10 years.

This year helping out the professionals raise some money, was former Chicago Bear and host of the Golf 360 TV show Patrick Mannelly. Mannelly a single digit handicapper, made his fair share of birdies, which led to a nice contribution.

During the lunch break-the professionals were treated to two video’s by people who have need the support, of the charities who benefit from the BFC Day by the IPGA.

The Birdies for Charity day, takes place the Tuesday after Labor Day, and donors can pledge to the amount of birdies made by their favorite professional, or just donate to the event in general. Visit IPGA.com/BirdesforCharity for more details.

The final numbers are not in yet, but Birdies For Charity didn’t come up short, they raised a lot of money for kids and their families that need the support.

The IPGA Birdies for Charity Day, is just another example of how golf gives back, and how Illinois PGA professionals are more than just golf pro’s, but leaders in their community.

If you couldn’t support the event this year, please plan ahead for the 11th edition of Birdies for Charity in September of 2021. The donations mean so much to the families that have children being helped through the charities.

BY-RORY SPEARS for Golfersongolf.com follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or Facebook and LinkedIn.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.