Nationwide’s Version of the PGA TOUR’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Only Months Away
Event Looks to Once Again Break Charitable Contribution RecordThis past weekend’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in Carmel, Calif., brought out some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris O’Donnell, Ray Romano and Bill Murray.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs (the Nationwide Tour’s equivalent of the AT&T event) is in the process of selecting celebrities for this year’s tournament, but some of the big names that have participated in the past include: Costner, Catherine Bell, Kurt Russell, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Dan Marino, Cheech Marin, Gabrielle Reece and Hootie & The Blowfish.
“We are going to have another stellar list of celebrities,” said Doug McGrath, co-chairman of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. “We are in the process of finalizing the list right now, and will be announcing our celebrity participants in the coming weeks.”
And what a difference the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is making. Last year’s tournament generated the most dollars for a Nationwide Tour event when it donated $763,646 to charity. That’s a 13% increase from the previous year. The first four tournaments have raised over $2.4 million for charity.
That goes hand-in-hand with what PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said at a Wednesday, February 9, press conference announcing the PGA TOUR’s launch of Drive to a Billion – a national campaign celebrating the final push toward the $1 billion milestone in charitable contributions over the next 12 months.
Entering the 2005 season, the PGA TOUR and its tournaments have generated more than $910 million for charity since 1938. The PGA TOUR is the only professional sports league designed to donate its net proceeds from tournaments to local charities. In addition to relying on more than 80,000 volunteers a year to run its events, the TOUR and its tournaments support more than one million people and 2,000 charities every year, such as children’s hospitals, health organizations, food banks and national charities including Boys & Girls Clubs, Special Olympics and American Cancer Society. The TOUR reached the $500 million mark in 1999 and has been focused on significantly increasing donations to charity every year. Because of those efforts, the TOUR will reach the $1 billion dollar milestone by raising the second $500 million in just seven years.
“Everyone who has ever attended or been involved with a PGA TOUR tournament can take pride in knowing that their ticket purchases and donations of time and money have directly benefited people in need in their communities,” said Finchem. “The PGA TOUR’s mission is rooted in giving back and we look forward to celebrating this memorable milestone with the tournaments, fans, players and sponsors who support us in each town we visit.”
The 2005 tournament will be played April 28-May 1, 2005 at Cliffs Valley, The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards and The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. All four rounds will be televised live by The Golf Channel.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is the only tournament on the Nationwide PGA Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide PGA Tour professionals in a three-day better-ball competition. Amateurs, celebrities and pros will rotate between each of the three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sunday’s final round at Cliffs Valley. Celebrities will play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Cliffs Valley will serve as the host course. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $112,500 from the total purse of $625,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour. Amateurs and celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
Last spring’s fourth-annual event raised a record $763,646 for 31 upstate and western North Carolina charities. The first four tournaments have raised more than $2.4 million for area charities.
General Admission tickets for the 2005 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs can be purchased for $25 through one of the 28 selected charities or by calling (864) 297-1660. Children 14 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Corporate sponsorships and ticket packages that include VIP and Clubhouse tickets can also be purchased by calling (864) 297-1660.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament or sponsorship opportunities call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.