Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation have joined together to launch the COVID-19 Golf Relief Fund, to support golf courses in helping employees and golfers stay safe while also thanking front-line workers through encouraging additional play and welcoming juniors to further experience the game.
During the pandemic, golf has experienced a resurgence, emerging as one of the safe, recreational activities for Canadians and at the same time, highlighting the game’s physical and mental benefits. Developed in consultation with stakeholders, the Relief Fund will focus on two primary areas:
To help maintain the momentum of golf, the Relief Fund will subsidize non-medical PPE (personal protective equipment) for golf course employees, as well as sanitization, hygiene and protective material expenses.
To thank front-line workers and help juniors increase social interactions and outdoor activity during the pandemic, the Relief Fund will subsidize rounds for both groups to enjoy playing golf.
“We find ourselves in a very surprising but special moment for golf and we wanted to show appreciation to the courses providing a safe golf experience and to all Canadians who are coming out and playing. We also wanted to thank our incredible front-line workers who are leading us through unprecedented adversity,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum.
“We are sensitive to the ongoing pandemic and amongst the crushing impact, golf has been a bright spot. This has also been a difficult year for so many kids who have had their summers disrupted and we wanted to support our member clubs in providing youth a healthy outlet through golf,” he added.
Golf Canada member clubs who apply for the Relief Fund will be eligible for subsidies up to a maximum of $1,000 per club, with applications opening on Aug. 12 on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Relief Fund will launch to the public on July 28 across Golf Canada’s digital network, throughout Golf Canada member clubs, Ascend Fundraising Solutions’ marketing platforms and provincial golf associations.
In addition to welcoming donations to support the Relief Fund, golfers and golf fans across the country can support it by participating in a four-week digital sweepstakes campaign featuring prizing across Canada and the U.S. in 2021.
“We have taken the challenge of the pandemic to pivot our donation efforts as a rallying point for the Canadian golf community,” said Martin Barnard, CEO of the Golf Canada Foundation.
“Golf has always been a driver for significant charitable giving and the cancellation of so many fundraising events through the pandemic has been difficult. Partners and donors have embraced the idea of a golf specific relief fund that supports front-line workers and juniors and also helps to keep industry employees safe throughout the season,” he said.
The grand prize includes a VIP hospitality experience at the 2021 RBC Canadian Open at St. Georges Golf and Country Club.
An early-bird prize package to be drawn on Aug. 12 features a stay-and-play experience at Cabot Links and Cliffs. Tickets for the sweepstakes can be purchased here until Aug. 27.
Currently at close to $350,000 before launching to the public, the Relief Fund is supported by the R&A, PGA Tour, USGA, PGA of Canada, Bear Mountain Resort, Cabot Cape Breton and TPC Toronto.
PGA Tour winner Adam Hadwin has personally supported the Relief Fund as part of his effort to give back once the RBC Canadian Open had been cancelled.
RBC Ambassador and three-time PGA Tour winner Ryan Palmer also has donated to the Relief Fund through a fundraising challenge specifically created to help the charities of tournaments that were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Donations to the Relief Fund will be accepted here throughout the golf season and more contributions will be announced over the course of the campaign as partners and donors support the cause.