What the golf world will see this week on the Palmetto Championship is a ruggedly splendid golf course etched right into a South Carolina sand cap. But misplaced in that untamed magnificence and the eventual competitors will likely be what brings the sport’s finest gamers to this slice of the Lowcountry.
Every week on the PGA Tour options all method of charitable priorities. It’s a central tenet of the Tour, however this week’s efforts are completely different. Not higher or worse than another week, simply distinctive within the panorama.
It’s no accident that Congaree Golf Club landed in Jasper County. As idyllic as that sand-capped piece of property was for a links-like format, the driving pressure behind the membership was to make a distinction in younger lives that didn’t have the luxurious of a rustic membership membership and deep pockets.
It’s why Jasper County, the poorest county in South Carolina, was excellent.
Billionaire founder Dan Friedkin, together with the late Robert McNair, created the Global Golf Initiative to give gifted highschool gamers with restricted means from across the globe a passport to faculty. The intense four-week program provides the would-be faculty gamers a crash course in golf instruction, schooling, health, recruiting and faculty prep.
Technically, there are simply two members at Congaree, Friedkin and McNair. Everyone else is taken into account an envoy, leaders in all method of industries who don’t pay an initiation charge however as a substitute are anticipated to donate their time and experience.
For Lucas Glover, a three-time Tour winner and main champion, his mission materialized in April whereas he was training at Congaree earlier than the RBC Heritage.
Before driving from Congaree to Hilton Head, Glover had dinner with Congaree’s managing director, John McNeely, and membership ambassador Mac Barnhardt, who urged Glover go to Sergeant Jasper Country Club, which is understood domestically as “The Sarge.”
The Congaree Foundation had just lately bought the “The Sarge,” which has been a staple locally because the Sixties however was on the verge of going out of enterprise.
“I’m South Carolina guy and the Congaree Foundation hit home with what they do with kids. And Jasper County doesn’t have a ton of golf courses, especially courses that the public can play, so it was just something to put my head into,” Glover stated.
Congaree had donated additional turf grass to assist nurse “The Sarge” again to life, however the irrigation system was effectively previous its prime, and crews have been struggling to water the course by hand with hoses.
“We saw one of the sprinklers was bubbling over and leaking and were like, something needs to be done. The infrastructure is there. They have a cool little clubhouse and a little back deck area, but the course is just in disrepair,” Glover stated. “That’s basically the only place in that area of Jasper County where the public can play. Some of the high school teams that needed a place to play that’s where they were playing. I wanted to do something to help.”
Glover hatched the plan to donate cash to assist “Recharge the Sarge” by giving for each eagle and birdie he made on the RBC Heritage. Other gamers shortly joined the trouble, together with Stewart Cink, who gained the Heritage, and Glover was in a position to donate about $17,000 to the membership.
Within two weeks of the Heritage, crews at “The Sarge” had already began rebuilding the irrigation system.
“We saw it at work immediately, which was really cool,” Glover stated.
For Glover, who was born in Greenville, S.C., and attended Clemson, his work on the “Recharge the Sarge” venture was about greater than merely saving a golf course.
“Look at what The First Tee did years ago and next thing you know you have Scott Langley on Tour, he was the first player to go through The First Tee program to do that,” stated Glover when requested how his work with “The Sarge” and the Congaree Foundation might influence golf growth in Jasper County. “You can envision a player growing up at ‘The Sarge’ and eventually improving and being good enough to qualify for the Global Initiative at Congaree.
“Whether there’s golf involved or not they get kids in school which is ultimately what it’s all about.”
Congaree will play as marketed this week, a agency and quick take a look at with beautiful sight traces. As will the Tour gamers who selected to make a cameo at this week’s one-off cease.
But the extra essential story would be the legacy that this event and this membership is creating.