A 24-hour golf marathon to benefit PGA HOPE will be staged at Sweetens Cove Golf Course in South Pittsburg on June 19th. Sweetens Cove is ranked among the top modern golf courses in America and No. 5 in Tennessee by GOLF.com
photo by Contributed
As the Tennessee PGA continues to expand its impact to military veterans through the PGA HOPE initiative in the Chattanooga area, the organization is also staging a unique fund-raiser to bring further awareness to this life-changing program.
“Operation 24: Stay Up for Those Who Stood Up” is a 24-hour continuous round of golf conducted by more than 30 PGA Professionals at Sweetens Cove Golf Club starting the morning of June 19. The professionals will volunteer in shifts to play their own ball for an entire day starting at 8 a.m., securing pledges for each hole completed during the marathon.
The proceeds raised will give back to local veterans who are PGA HOPE graduates and to bring additional awareness to the program through the Tennessee Golf Foundation. Those wishing to contribute can register their pledge through www.pledgeit.org/operation24
“Our goal is to keep a ball moving around Sweetens Cove the entire 24 hours,” said Lamar Mills, Chattanooga Regional Director for the Tennessee Golf Foundation and Tennessee Section PGA President. “I’ve been around golf in this area more than 30 years and I’ve never heard of 24 hours of golf.”
The continuous play under the lights might offer some challenges to professionals unaccustomed to golfing in the middle of the night, but thankfully some night owls have stepped forward.
“There’s some guys from the Tri-Cities area that have volunteered to take those shifts in the middle of the night, so that was a big relief,” Mills said.”
PGA Hope is the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America. It is designed to introduce golf to veterans to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being through a six-week developmental curriculum taught by PGA Professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency. All programs are free to veterans, and the local chapter is staged at the UTC Player Development Center on Hickory Valley Road.
There are also opportunities for four-person teams to register to play the highly-sought South Pittsburg course ranked by Golfweek in 2019 as the 49th best modern course and the 21st best course you can play in the United States.
After a 9 a.m. CDT shotgun start reserved for 20 veterans to play nine holes, there will be two separate amateur waves held with ten foursomes in each. The afternoon round includes two loops around the nine-hole layout and begins at 1 p.m. CDT with registration already full.
There will also be an evening flight played under portable lighting towers being installed that will conduct nine holes at 6 p.m. CDT, then finish the round under the lights after a dinner break. The cost is $1,000 per team or $250 per individual player. Those interested in registering for the four remaining team slots in the evening flight can go to the following link: http://tnpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/tnpga23/event/tnpga2337/index.htm Players will receive a pair of shirts from Greyson Clothiers and a Stitch Golf shoe bag, and meals and drinks throughout the day will be included in the entry fee. Entry deadline is June 14.
Paul Payne can be emailed at email@example.com
Portable light towers illuminate Sweetens Cove during one of their popular night golf outings.
photo by Contributed