Editorial by Karen Moraghan, Hunter PR, Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA
What do Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, CLIF Bar & Company, Seminole Golf Club, and hundreds of other clubs around the country have in common? They’re all supporting causes in their local communities by working through ClubsHelp, a national initiative that connects course owners, club managers, golf professionals, corporate partners, and others into a powerful network for doing good. ClubsHelp, a 501(c)3 Foundation, works to maximize relationships between clubs and the charities that are most important to them. By providing clubs with valuable resources and access to a vast and powerful network resources, ClubsHelp furthers the value of clubs’ philanthropic efforts and contributions in times of crisis.
A Brief History:
The ClubsHelp Movement Began with One Club, and One Big Vision.
It all began with sandwiches: The simple desire of Spring Brook Country Club, in Northern New Jersey, to donate sandwiches to frontline workers at nearby Morristown Medical Center (MMC) at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenge was gaining access to the right people. Spring Brook members got on their phones and computers, started networking, and made contact with someone at MMC. A relationship was born.
Sandwiches were just the beginning. Soon after, club members delivered six pickup-truckloads of Gatorade, soda, water, and food to the ER. These efforts caught the eye of a Fox News executive, who thought the story was perfect
for the network’s “America Together” segment on the Fox & Friends morning show. Last April, Spring Brook’s General Manager and COO, David Bachman, talked on air about how his club was supporting frontline workers. Suddenly, a local story was in the national spotlight, where it got the attention of Rob Goulet, CEO of Entertainment Sport Partners, Inc., and manager to World Golf Hall of Famer, professional golfer Ernie Els. A few hours after Bachman appeared on TV, he received a call from Goulet. “Rob says, ‘Hey, I saw what you’re doing. What do you think about growing this nationally?’” recalled Bachman. “I was like, ‘Wow, sure. How do we do that?”
Step one was getting other local clubs involved. Bachman, a member of the New Jersey Chapter of the Club Management Association of America (CMAA), made a few calls and learned that Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City was in desperate need of supplies. He called John Dorman, General Manager at The University Club in New York and secured his support for Mount Sinai. He also connected Deepdale Golf Club on Long Island with Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.
Goulet was also burning up the phone lines. Securing the support of Els to back ClubsHelp, he was able to get him to appear with Bachman on Fox & Friends for a second time. Els also wrote a letter to the board at famed Seminole
Golf Club, where he’s a member, resulting in a contribution of $285,000 from the club to Jupiter Medical Center in Florida. Goulet also persuaded Turner Broadcasting to earmark some of the millions raised by Capital One’s “The Match: Champions for Charity”— which featured NFL legends Tom Brady and Peyton Manning playing with golf icons Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at Seminole—to ClubsHelp. Further endorsements came from 18-time major
champion Jack Nicklaus and former LPGA golfer Kris Tschetter, another Goulet client. He also reached out to Gary Erickson, owner and founder of Clif Bar & Company, who donated some 10 million CLIF bars to front-line healthcare
workers around the country. “I started calling people I knew were influencers and saying, ‘Hey, we’re putting this band together and we would love to get your help,’” said Goulet. Several large club-management companies agreed, including Concert Golf Partners, ClubCorp, Arcis Golf, and Dormie Network. In just two weeks, ClubsHelp was supported by nearly 300 clubs nationwide.
Over time and with more clubs and others signing on, it became increasingly evident to Bachman and the other members of the newly created board that ClubsHelp, “wasn’t just a response to COVID-19.” It had become a national
network of clubs committed to supporting many different causes and charities in their local communities, especially in times of need or crisis.
ClubsHelp adopted a motto--“Care Locally. Unite Nationally.” Which is exactly what it’s doing. “We’re just a giant network of helping,” said Bachman. Get Your Club Involved. Through ClubsHelp, clubs receive support to maximize their philanthropy and increase their ability to provide local aid and resources. An on-line fundraising platform helps clubs quickly and effectively raise funds and awareness.
At the present time, ClubsHelp offers three event opportunities:
ClubsHelp’s 100-Hole Challenge
It’s a fundraiser, it’s a marathon, it’s a way to give back to local communities—all through golf. The ClubsHelp 100-Challenge raises funds for local charities nationwide. Amateur golfers, including club staff or teams from local charities (typically in groups of 2 or 3), choose a day to play 100 holes of golf from sun-up to sundown to raise money. Member clubs receive promotional support from ClubsHelp, including a pledge app, national leaderboard, and promotional tool kit.
Golf Kitchen Wine Dinners presented on behalf of ClubsHelp
Memorable evenings begin with a wine tasting, followed by an expertly prepared dinner with wine pairings to enhance the experience. The evening concludes with après dinner drinks and a live auction with unique items availablefor bid. This series of exclusive wine dinners, to be held at prestigious golf clubs throughout the United States, raises money for local causes important to each club through the resources of ClubsHelp.
The ClubsHelp Scramble
This scramble fundraising event starts at the club level and progresses to regional, and eventually national finals. Four-person teams compete, according to their handicaps, with proceeds supporting local charities each step of
Editorial by Karen Moraghan
Karen is a founding board member of ClubsHelp and president of Hunter Public Relations (www. hunter-pr.com), a respected media relations and special events firm, with bi-coastal offices and a stellar reputation for promoting the upscale golf lifestyle.