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THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter@GogBlogGuy or connect on Facebook or LinkedIn.

THE ILLINOIS PGA presents it’s annual Birdies for Charity Fundraiser.


What a great concept, and it works for many folks and groups in need.

BFC first popped up on the scene in Illinois years ago, at the John Deere Classic in the Quad Cities. BFC is still a big help in Western Illinois with millions being raised from the PGA Tour event.

But it didn’t stop there. Because Birdies for Charity was used in other places in the United States, and used in different ways to raise needed dollars.

So enter current Medinah Country Club teaching professional and IPGA member Travis Johns. Because prior to coming to Illinois, Johns spent some time in the Texas PGA Section. After seeing what Birdies for Charity did in Texas, Johns brought the idea to Illinois, and worked with IPGA Board members to make the event happen in Illinois. So after a few tweaks to the format, Birdies for Charity in the Illinois PGA section was off and running, or flying all the way to the cup.

But while the final total of monies raised this year is still coming in. So far, over $300,000 dollars has been raised, and the number is closing in near $350,000. But where does all that money go? Here is a look at the three charities that are main benefactors.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House Charity’s Chicagoland and NW Indiana.

(L) 17 year old Amanda Brooks a student at Loyola Academy is a Youth Ambassador for JDRF. (R-left side of picture) Jessica Brooks-Gift Officer (no relation) spoke on behalf of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Pictured on our social media pages only, Ashely DiMiceli Development Mgr. JDRF and Jack Gilhoody Development Mgr. for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago and NW Indiana.

The field of over 30 IPGA Professionals who took part in the 2021 IPGA Birdies for Charity event this past week. (R) Oak Park Country Club served as this years host of BFC-since the normal host club River Forest is undergoing a tee box renovation project.

IPGA Professional Brian Carroll Royal Hawk Golf Club led the way with 40 birdies made, with several other professional right behind Carroll. During a recent visit to Blackberry Oaks Golf Club in Bristol IL., Head Golf pro and GM. told us that Birdies for Charity day is one of the most important days he has all-year as a IPGA section member. “Giving back through is golf, is one of the great things our game does,” said Johansen.

IPGA professionals dodged rain storms, by starting at 7:30 AM, and playing until almost 7 Pm, to play as many holes as possible. To learn more about the Illinois PGA, the IPGA Foundation, or the Birdies for Charity event and how you can help, see IPGA.com.

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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 WCPT AM820 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.