Perhaps it’s time for Northeast Ohio tournament players to examine a different kind of charity “Cup” that moves past the dated ‘public vs. private’ concept and creates a better team competition for an improved donation amount.
The idea of teams made up of players coming from either public or private courses stopped being relevant when the economy hit the skids — not the recent financial slowdowns, mind you, but the one ten years back in 2002.
Those early ‘ought’ years turned the golf business on its head for good and changed where most golf was played, how golf was paid for (and written off), and what it meant to be a member at many clubs.
So why is the area’s most recognizable competitive charity golf event — which, to be candid, has lagged in interest and donations the last few years — still using the contrived formula of ‘public vs. private’?
Let’s kick around another idea that might improve the interest level, the media coverage, and the amount of money donated to a worthy cause.
Say a committee is established to name a wily golf veteran living in each county in Northeast Ohio to be that county’s “team captain”.
And let’s say, in turn, that captain is assigned to recruit scratch players who live in their county to play for the county team — primary residence only, not like St. V’s or Ignatius players “live” in their county. ;)
So there is a Cuyahoga County team, a Summit County team, a Geauga County team, a Lorain County team, etc. Based on the Northeast Ohio ADI, there could be anywhere from 11 to 16 different county teams.
Each county team can recruit a committee-determined number of players from certain “player groups” to fill out each team: a PGA pro, a senior PGA pro (that way the NOPGA can get behind this too), some amateurs, some mid-ams, and some senior ams. Somewhere between 6 to 8 players per team. So in total, a field of anywhere from 66 to 128 players, depending.
Then let’s say that once those teams are recruited, the players select a charity for whom they will play, and each player must solicit at least $200 in donations from businesses in their county to build a ‘charity pot’. (If a player doesn’t want to solicit a donation from a local business, then that player can toss in the $200 to be on the team directly.) Anything collected over the $200 per player goes directly to that team’s chosen charity.
Once the teams are set and the donations collected, the committee runs a stroke play event where a certain number of individual stroke play scores count toward the team score, just like high-school or college team golf. Best 4 scores of 6, or 5 of 8, something like that.
The incentive: it’s winner-takes-all on the $200 per man charity pot, paid to the winning team’s selected charity.
So if the Cuyahoga County Team wins, all of the money thrown into the charity pot by all of the teams in the Cup goes to the Cuyahoga County Team’s designated charity for that year.
Now isn’t this idea a lot more interesting, a lot more competitive, and a more specific fundraising concept than ‘public vs. private’?
Sidebar Thought #1: Maybe one of the dozen+ truly great clubs in NEOH wouldn’t mind offering gratis some Monday in September to host this charitable event, to really solidify the opportunity.
Sidebar Thought #2: A separate $20 Big Skins Game run on the side for the players themselves wouldn’t be a bad idea, either…