Much has changed in the last year, but the goals of Myrtle Beach’s PGA Patriots haven’t.
A group of 21 golf industry professionals, Myrtle Beach’s PGA Patriots launched Patriot Golf Day – which started as a 100-hole marathon and has grown to include a full slate of Labor Day Weekend events – in 2014 to raise money for Folds of Honor.
The event, which has turned into a passion project for the group, has raised more than $400,000, including $131,066 in 2019.
Given the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing the 2019 fundraising total will likely be impossible but that in its own way makes the effort more important than ever.
Folds of Honor dedicates 86 cents of every dollar raised to providing scholarships to children of America’s fallen or disabled service members and awards scholarships in $5,000 increments, meaning Myrtle Beach’s PGA Patriots have funded scholarships for more than 65 kids.
With the nation battling the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, budgets across America have been tightened, making the fundraising work of the Patriots vital.
“At the end of the day, these families have sacrificed so much in allowing their loved ones to defend the freedoms we continue to enjoy and that doesn’t change because of the pandemic,” said Jimmy Biggs, general manager at Pine Lakes and a founding member of the Myrtle Beach PGA Patriots. “They still need our support. With funding being down everywhere, that’s even more of a reason for us to go out and do everything we can to help people during this time of need.”
This year’s 100-hole marathon will be held Sunday, September 6 at Rivers Edge and the group is accepting donations and soliciting pledges for birdies and eagles made. In 2019, the group collectively made 408 birdies and 15 eagles, raising $26,265 via performance based pledges.
The events surrounding the 100-hole marathon – a Friday night banquet and the Battle for Glory, a Ryder Cup-style golf event on Saturday that allowed the public to participate – were cancelled this year in the interest of public health. Both supporting events will return in 2021.
As for the 100-hole marathon, social distancing comes naturally to the event. Players have always ridden in their own cart, allowing them to speed to the ball and play as quickly as possible to complete 100 holes before dark.