A germ of an idea in the Carolinas has blossomed into a national project, and golfers and golf courses reap the benefits.
The program is called Rounds4Research and offers the public the opportunity to bid for playing privileges at participating courses. The auction includes about 250 clubs in the Carolinas among the 600-plus nationwide that will open their doors to raise funds for turfgrass research.
The bidding opened Thursday and runs through June 16.
“Some of the finest courses in South Carolina are involved,” said Tim Kreger, executive director of the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association. “There are quite a few in the Hilton Head area, and almost all of the Myrtle Beach courses are participating.
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“There is a great opportunity for a Father’s Day gift or perhaps a group of guys want to put together a golf trip.”
The South Carolina list includes Sage Valley, Long Cove, Harbour Town Golf Links, May River, Yeamans Hall, Belfair Plantation, the Dunes Club, Chechessee Creek, several of the Cliffs courses and Palmetto.
“We have given more than $175,000 to Clemson and North Carolina State to conduct turfgrass research,” said Kreger, who came up with the idea during the economic downturn. “State funds and grants for research had been cut, and we thought that using what we had, the golf courses, might be a way to restore some of the money. The clubs bought into the idea and donated the tee times.”
In addition to bidding on playing opportunities, travel packages in the auction include visits to the 2014 Masters and 2014 U.S. Open.
For information on courses participating and to bid, visit rounds4research.com.
The first of two open qualifying rounds for the Midlands Chevy Dealers Columbia City Championship will be held Saturday at Spring Valley Country Club. The second will be July 6, also at Spring Valley, which will host the tournament July 18-20. Go to fairwayoutreach.org for an entry blank or call tourney directory Bobby Foster at (803) 782-8707 or (803) 609-0542. ... Winners in the Golfweek Amateur Golf Tour event at Houndslake in Aiken: Quentin Yarborough (championship flight), Steve Walters (A flight), James Ravenel (B flight), Bear Miller (C flight) and John Wilson (D flight). Players compete in flights according to handicaps. For schedule and information, call John Livoti at (866) 918-4653. ... Golden Hills pro Steve Larick tied for third and Northwoods assistant Burke Cromer shared sixth in the North Carolina Open in Kannapolis, N.C. ... The state’s best juniors will compete in the SCGA’s Junior Championship Tuesday-Thursday at the Country Club of Lexington. The field of 163 will be cut to 66 for the final round.