Rounds for Research Raises $106,000

Rounds for Research Chairman Paul JettOrganizers have declared golf's great online auction at a "major success" after this year's event raised $106,000 to benefit turfgrass research.

The web-based auction led by golf course superintendents associations across five states, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Texas, offered more than 1,100 lots or tee times donated by clubs and courses. Successful bids ranged from more than $4,000 for play on a mystery course in the Southeast to $15 for a foursome at a par 3 course in N.C.

"This was our second year and the support from both the industry and the consumer sides was outstanding," said chair, Paul Jett, certified golf course superintendent at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, NC. "More than 700 individual courses donated tee-times and the web traffic from golf shoppers was phenomenal."

Jett said the money raised for golf turfgrass research was effectively an investment in the economies of the states involved.

"Golf is an industry that creates jobs, generates tourism and provides all sorts of social benefits to a community," he said. "Research at our universities helps ensure the health of the courses that provide the platform for all of that."

This year's result takes to more than $160,000 the total raised for turfgrass research in the web auction's first two years. The auction concept was created by the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association to help counter shrinking state funding for turfgrass research.

Of this year's funds, the Carolinas generated the lion's share with $75,000. Georgia netted close to $15,000 and Texas and Virginia each raised more than $8,000.

"This project illustrates just how committed we are in golf to creating solutions instead of complaining about problems," said Tim Kreger, executive director of the Carolinas GCSA. "Our members and golf's allied associations, professionals, owners and club managers, across five states all collaborated to get this project off the ground and make it successful. That's impressive."

Kreger forecast multiple long-range benefits from the interaction that the auction had inspired between golf's allied associations at regional levels.

"The relationships we share now will serve golf well as the industry faces future issues, not just in addressing the challenge of research funding," he said.

Next year's auction will also run in April and is expected to include even more states.


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